Located in the centre of London, the existing building at the site of 150 Holborn had a scheme approved by planning to repurpose the building into the market pace as an extensive refurbishment. The building was then sold, with the current owners wanting to maximise the development footprint of the site, deciding to create a new innovative workplace of the future.
The 185,000 ft² GIA, new build commercial development is primarily office space with retail units on the ground and basement levels. The main theme for the design of the new building is to create a healthy workplace which encourages and improves the productivity of staff. One of the client’s key aspirations for the project is to create a building which maximises interaction and collaboration between potential future corporate occupiers.
With a healthy workplace a clear goal for the new build development, 150 Holborn has been designed to incorporate WELL principles throughout including a central, open stair at the heart of the building. The building is targeting LEED platinum, BREEAM excellent and seeking Fitwel certification once completed. The development also comprises of a residential block that is designed to the equivalent of code for sustainable homes level 4.
Natural daylight throughout the building has been a key feature in the design. To help achieve this, Elementa have helped to maximise the opportunity for daylight by incorporating multiple aspects of daylight harvesting to each space from the façade and main atrium. This provides a balanced scene with high quality daylighting, avoiding high contrast ratios that would typically lead to over exposure and visual discomfort. In particular, on the South East and South West facades the exterior spaces have been designed to achieve a high level of daylight autonomy, which allows the artificial lighting system to be turned off for a large percentage of the year. Quality access to natural daylight has been shown to improve occupant’s health and wellbeing, even giving them a better night’s sleep.
Elementa have been instrumental in pushing the boundaries on the project and championing innovation and sustainability. We have been able to use our extensive expertise in the commercial sector including due-diligence work for multiple tenants that allows us to design the building with an occupiers view in mind, ensuring that the likely provisions of any tenant have been incorporated in the base design of this building. 150 Holborn will utilise smart technologies and allow for a smart ready IT infrastructure. This is key in positioning the building as smart and future ready amidst constantly changing technologies.
The building has been designed to be energy efficient, adaptable to climate change with increased resilience. The main feature atrium has been created to provide a space which will connect to nature, while the construction techniques will be waste and material efficient. There is a vision for parts of the building to be available for local community access which could be for exhibitions, workshops and classes for the public. Elementa led extensive façade simulations to optimise the shading strategy and window to wall ratios.
Elementa have been key in leading design charrettes during the early design phases of the project. During these workshops, the whole project team came to Elementa’s London office to participate in the collaborative, integrated design workshops, giving opportunity for clear communication and aspirations to be set for all stakeholders.