It is not often that an architecture practice gets to revisit an original project, but more than 20 years after Scott Brownrigg completed Victoria Gate, they had the chance to do just that, by returning for a 2018 refurbishment.
The speculative 63,375 sq ft commercial office building for Aviva Investors, which was originally finished in 1985, has been stripped back to the original frame, extensively modernised and extended to increase its appeal to the commercial market.
The excellent BREEAM rated building is both elegant and contemporary. Working in harmony with its original fabric, Victoria Gate brings the original ‘out-board’ external column structure inside, partially on the first floor and fully on the remaining floors. This allowed for the extension of the original footprint and the addition of a totally new fifth floor, adding an additional 25% of lettable space.
The limestone effect Stonework range conveys a natural, contemporary mood
Strikingly, to those revisiting the building following the redevelopment, the former courtyard located in the centre of the plan has been infilled at ground floor level to create a stunning full height, glazed atrium. This impressive area was back-lit with a stretched fabric feature wall, which floods the original lower floors with light.
Solus worked with the architects to supply a vast quantity of more than 1000m2 of matt finish, lead grey tiles from their popular Stonework range to the innovative refurbishment. The beautifully toned tiles perfectly capture the delicate speckles and irregular cloudiness found in limestone, and feature prominently throughout the modern reception area and the mezzanine lift lobbies.
A large-scale project transformed with modern, porcelain tiles
The same tiles were also used in the toilet areas, complementing the refreshed, modern aesthetic, whilst a Bush Hammered R11 (A+B+C) variation was used on the floors in the shower cubicles, providing the required slip resistance necessary for the wet area zones.
Ed Hayden, Director at Scott Brownrigg, said: “We were very excited to be given the opportunity to revisit one of our original office developments from 1985 and bring it into the 21st Century. The original building provided cutting edge office space in the 1980’s and we were charged with re-imagining how the building could evolve for 2018. Fantastic new features such as the central atrium with its feature light wall and the new entertainment terrace protected by a fully cantilevered ‘blade edge’ roof, make this the most exciting new commercial space in the area.”
Photos by Hundven-Clements Photography