Delivering a dynamic work and social space for Cheltenham
|UK Pension Fund
A brief history
Originally built in 1973, the prominent Quadrangle building overlooks Imperial Gardens. On purchase, the building was semi-vacant, giving our client the opportunity to substantially reinvigorate the building internally and externally.
We wanted to propel this tired 1970s office block into the 21st century, and to enable it to fit aesthetically into its surroundings. Located in the Montpellier Conservation Area, the building was uncomfortably juxtaposed in appearance to the Town Hall.
The aim of the retrofit was not only to attract a variety of occupants but also to improve how the building sits in context visually.
Working with the existing building presented a number of challenges that the design team had to overcome to ensure the new-build elements were successfully integrated. These ranged from large-scale considerations like the footprint of the rooftop extension to ensure structural suitability, to smaller-scale details like the finishing of uncovered existing elements to ensure these were of suitable visual quality.
Delivering the design
We knew it was important to secure community support early on. The design was developed through our engagement with stakeholders, ensuring that the town supported such a development in this sensitive location.
The bronze cladding elements were chosen to complement the stone colour of the neighbouring Town Hall and the Quadrangle’s existing light sandstone façade.
Our retrofit design retains as much as the original fabric and structure as possible to reduce waste. Natural ventilation is used in part on the office floor plates and there are areas of PV panels on the roof. The upgrading of all windows and the creation of a new façade on the fourth floor means that the building performs better environmentally and less heat is lost. The Quadrangle targets BREEAM ‘Very Good’.
The new plaza has been designed to interact with Imperial Gardens and to invite in the public. The rooftop restaurant plus future ground floor retail outlets will combine to make the Quadrangle a new destination in Cheltenham.
The basement car park conversion reduces parking availability so, to encourage alternative modes of transport, the number of cycle spaces has significantly increased, alongside electric bike and car charging points. We have also installed additional welfare facilities to support exercise and interaction.
Looking to the future
The additional fifth floor restaurant space enjoys views across Cheltenham towards the Cotswolds. This space will help to offset the considerable refurbishment construction costs.