Global pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has continued its real estate investment strategy in the North West with the completion of a £10m refurbishment at Middlewood Court in Macclesfield.

Designed by commercial interiors specialists SpaceInvader and delivered by Overbury, the 80,000 sq ft project has transformed a 1960s manufacturing and packing facility into a world class workspace that supports activity-based working for up to 1000 employees.

The repurposing of Middlewood Court, which took a year to complete, has created an exciting working environment that encourages and nurtures a more flexible and collaborative culture. A tired, conservative, cellular office space has been replaced with a bright, modern and unique destination boasting open plan spaces, formal meeting rooms, a café with ‘grab & go’ counter and catering kitchen, collaboration zones, quiet booths, resource hubs and brew stations.

Inspired by the significance of ‘silk’ to its location as well as the wider business, the new look Middlewood Court includes bespoke design features such as the ‘silk route’ – a central spine linking two entrances on the ground floor. This is punctuated by clusters of informal meeting spaces and ‘cocoons’, a striking seating solution that mimics the organic form of a silk moth’s cocoon and the ethereal qualities of a moth’s wing. In addition, a central circulation stair has been installed to provide greater connectivity between AstraZeneca’s worldwide manufacturing function on the first floor and the company’s global IT hub on the ground floor.

Delivering a technically challenging project whilst the building was in occupation required the team to liaise closely with end users. Innovative construction measures such as the quieter and cleaner hydraulic bursting technique were employed to alter the structure, whilst well designed temporary routes and services solutions ensured that the optimum working environment was maintained.

Kate Derrick, Global Workplace, AstraZeneca, said: “SpaceInvader’s vision for Middlewood Court exceeded all our expectations of what could be achieved with an old manufacturing building. Treating problems as opportunities the team has transformed a 1960’s production facility into a unique destination on campus where people want to go and work. Careful consideration and space-planning alongside intelligent group and ‘neighbourhood’ adjacencies have facilitated increased interactions, collaboration and vibrancy within the business - we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”