Boosting Somerset’s Digital Economy
Somerset Digital Innovation Centre
|Client||Somerset County Council|
AWW was approached by Somerset County Council to develop a concept design and brief to boost Somerset’s digital economy and the innovation centre in Taunton was born. The Firepool site, in which the innovation centre is located, has been subject to numerous design consultations. Then, in 2019 the centre achieved an outline planning permission for an overall masterplan. Somerset County Council have brought forward the Digital Innovation Centre as the first of the economic investment developments for this site.
Somerset County Council’s vision is to deliver a landmark building that will provide a platform for commercial innovation and collaboration, driving inward investment in the local economy. The demand for a centre of this kind has grown and evolved; the design to attract business owners and developers now not only includes flexible office space but creates an inspirational place for cross sector collaboration.
Initially, AWW was appointed by Somerset County Council to develop the innovation centre design as the first stage of the Firepool masterplan. Since then we have been appointed by Willmott Dixon who joined the design team at Stage 2.
The Digital Innovation Centre's facilities go beyond that of a normal office, creating an exemplary workspace for it’s occupants. The scheme will see a number of highly-skilled jobs created, creating and contributing to improving economic prosperity in Somerset. Tenants of the building will work in a modern collaborative environment with excellent services and infrastructure in place to allow businesses to thrive and grow.
The space has been designed to create transparency between it’s occupants, stimulating both business and economic growth.
Comfortable and efficient spaces driven by rigorous modelling for thermal, daylight and sound requirements ensures these spaces are both designed to the highest standards and desirable to occupy. The central breakout and café spaces will encourage interaction, engagement and collaboration between building users.
Targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating, AWW’s design will ensure the building has a low energy requirement. The building benefits from excellent air quality, air tightness, u-values and levels of daylight. Roof mounted photovoltaic arrays have been sized to comply with the Building Regulations and the project’s BREEAM and Planning requirements.