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Tomorrow’s workplace: refurbishment, recycling and reinvention

The Westworks has been Highly Commended at this year’s British Council of Offices (BCO) London Awards. Its refurbishment, designed by Allies and Morrison, involved a detailed re-evaluation of the mostly cellularised and unloved ‘White City One’ – the 1980s headquarters, built for the BBC as a single occupier. A series of both subtle and bold creative interventions across the interiors and in the exterior have repositioned the entrance and extended the 26,940 sqm building’s life for a new generation of tenants.

This year’s BCO London Awards had a wide range of shortlisted projects, particularly in the Refurbishment/Recycling Workplace category. It is a reflection perhaps of a growing appreciation among developers and building managers of the value proposition of renewing existing office buildings.

The overall category winner was Here East, which opened this year after a refurbishment of its own by Hawkins\Brown. Initially designed by Allies and Morrison as a temporary media centre for the 2012 Olympics, the building will now be a permanent fixture of the Olympic Park for a range of educational, cultural and tech tenants, which in the years ahead will be joined by the constellation of cultural and educational institutions which are due to take up residence in the Park.