Network Rail National Centre, Milton Keynes
The practice was responsible for the CAT A design and fit-out for Network Rail’s 37,500 sq m National Centre in Milton Keynes. Known as The Quadrant:MK, it consolidates 3,000 staff from various UK offices into a single location. It has been designed to support a new workplace philosophy and is an agile working environment that offers a range of stimulating work settings that actively encourage interaction, teamwork and communication. The Quadrant:MK is organised as four office blocks linked by a large atrium, or 'Street'. An inner and outer atrium in each block visually connects the office levels and enables the air movement essential for the building's natural ventilation strategy. The inner atria open onto the Street, with ground level activity deliberately 'blurring' the boundaries. Activity spills from the office blocks into the Street and vice versa. Each atrium is characterised by distinct activity, such as a lounge serving the meeting rooms, the restaurant, or the library. The brief also required a highly efficient, low-energy building with a great emphasis on sustainability; the design includes rainwater harvesting, living roofs and other measures to enhance biodiversity across the site, whilst all timber products are also sourced sustainably. The office has achieved a BREEAM Excellent and won the BCO Award for Best Corporate Workplace in the South West, Thames Valley and South Wales Region in 2013. The building also won New Build Project of the Year in the CIBSE Building Performance Awards in 2015.