We’re really impressed by the design of British Gas’ new offices at Oxford Business Park. Whilst gas companies might not be the first industry that springs to mind when it comes to being ‘green’, Centrica who own British Gas also own a biomass company along with several wind farms. The idea behind the design of these new offices and customer service centre is to represent their little-known green credentials.
Centrica is now investing heavily into renewable energy sources and the new building, designed by Scott Brownrigg Interior Design; has been rated as BREEAM Excellent with an interior that reflects Centrica’s commitment to sustainability and renewable energy.
Each of the four corners of the building has been designed to represent a different element used to generate renewable energy: earth, wind, fire and water. These elements have been represented in a variety of different ways including materials, colours, graphics and tailor-made design touches.
The water corner, for example, includes cylindrical meeting rooms with images of water bubbles printed onto the exterior walls. The building’s reception area has a copper feature, designed to symbolize the rays of the sun.
The four elements have been cleverly tied together with a single motif – a dandelion – which needs each of the elements to grow and then scatter its seeds.
The building has been carefully positioned so that the cooler north side of the building is comfortable in summer and the south-facing side absorbs the sun to warm the building in winter. The colour scheme of each side of the building also reflects the different aspects of the building, with warm tones used on the cool side and cooler blue shades on the south side.
Three on-site biomass boilers enable the building to produce 90 per cent of its own heat whilst the roof has been fitted with photo-voltaic and solar thermal panels on its roof. Sustainability was a major concern for the designers when it came to choosing building materials; bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant on the planet which makes it very sustainable and has been used for fascia panels and tea-points.
This really is one of the most ingenious office designs that we’ve seen recently and we particularly like the attention to detail and thought that’s obviously been put into creating internal spaces that make the best use of natural light, natural materials and colour.
Posted June 25, 2013