Scott Brownrigg takes speculative office design in a new direction


Scott Brownrigg has gained planning permission for a new 9,176 sq m speculative office building on the site of the former Water Research Centre (WRC) in Medmenham, Buckinghamshire.

Together with developers Lamron Estates and LaSalle Investment Management, Scott Brownrigg has identified an occupier need that is not currently being met; exceptional green credentials and low energy consumption in a totally flexible office building that meets industry recognised speculative standards whilst retaining strong cost control.  This proposed building, named Project Xen after its X shaped plan, addresses that challenge and takes commercial office design in a new direction. 

As required by the planning authority, Project Xen stays within the footprint and height of an existing building and is discreet when viewed from the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Scott Brownrigg’s design incorporates a grass roof that arches over the whole 3 storey building from ground level at the wing ends and merges the building seamlessly into the landscape.

The four wings of the X splay with top lit balconied mezzanines under the ends as they taper to ground level.  This unusual form shades virtually the whole building from solar gain yet maximises natural lighting and occupants’ views out.  A VRV ventilation system facilitates full space planning and sub-letting flexibility.  Combined 20% renewable energy use from ground and air source heat pumps, sophisticated controls of all building services, 35% Co2 emissions savings, rainwater recycling and other measures will enable the building to achieve a BREEAM 2008 “Excellent” rating.

Malcolm McPhail, Managing Director of Lamron Estates, said, “On a series of recent projects our consultant team has tested and developed new ways to satisfy the speculative market occupiers’ need for full flexibility whilst achieving a sustainable agenda that will ensure the building has an investment life beyond the first major refit.  Project Xen is the successful culmination of that effort.”

The three storey building will be designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and will target research and development, pharmaceutical and ICT occupiers.