In early 2006 Birmingham City Council undertook a mammoth five year Business Transformation plan to rationalise and restructure its office portfolio, consolidating 78 buildings into 8. 10 Woodcock Street is the culmination of that strategy, a flexible, sustainable and energising 18,000sq.m workspace that houses over 3,000 staff and serves as the Council’s flagship site.
A civic tone is expressed by the restrained application of copper and stone on the Woodcock Street frontage, with simpler brick and curtain-walling treatments to the rear and side. Landscaped public space, with a focus on pedestrian movement, frames the entrance to the building from the regenerated Aston Triangle.
A full length, two-storey high internal street that acts as the primary circulation route through the building. Three four-storey wings, focused around four atria, are interconnected via bridges. Over 2,000 fixed stations and touch down spaces encourage a non-territorial approach to working. The open plan layout creates a buzzing, vibrant atmosphere for staff, promoting collaboration and interaction.
The building has an adaptive cooling system that uses the thermal mass of the structure to moderate temperatures without mechanical cooling. External solar shading measures ensure solar gain is carefully controlled. A reduced demand on artificial lighting is achieved through admitting high levels of natural light through the atria.
Associated Architects has delivered an inspiring office project for the City Council with a real clarity of organisation and great visual impact – in my opinion the best new office building in Birmingham!
Sustainability was a key priority for the Council. Our design combined a rooftop wildlife garden, photovoltaic panels, grey water recycling and a connection to the Aston Triangle CHP to ensure strong ratings in both EPC and BREEAM. The brown roof has already provided an ideal habitat to local wildlife, including the Black Redstart.
The task of relocating thousands of staff whilst delivering organisational change required sympathetic handling. We worked closely with project partners to ensure the transitions from previous sites to the new purpose built one were smooth. National award wins prove that 10 Woodcock Street is a socio-economic success, bringing improvements in staff performance and workplace wellbeing, as well as large cost savings for the Council. The tangible transformational impact on the lives of the workforce shows 10 Woodcock Street as an exemplar large owner / occupier-led workplace project.