Engaging with the street
Responding to the brief for a modern, flexible and efficient office environment, the outdated building has been reimagined, undergoing a number of significant changes to maximise its full potential as a workplace for the 21st century. Central to the overhaul has been the consolidation of the 7-storey building’s mass into an efficient and coherent whole. The reconfigured interior has been rationalised by bringing disjointed floor plates together and infilling underused areas. This has made the most of the internal space and also resulted in benefits which extend beyond the building.
A workplace for the 21st century
One of the key moves to gain additional space has been to infill an open car park area to the rear of the site, to create a light-filled 3-storey atrium at the centre of Cooper & Southwark. Replacing the car park with one of the building’s three new frontages significantly improves Keppel Row. The upgrade also links in with the Clean Air Mini Neighbourhood project, an initiative by Better Bankside and Southwark Council working with local businesses and residents to regenerate public spaces on neighbouring streets.
The recladding of elevations on Southwark and Great Guildford streets has transformed the building. A combination of GRC and pre-fabricated brick faced panels have been used to create new facades with active frontages, improving Cooper & Southwark’s interface with the public realm on a busy thoroughfare. The building’s existing entrances have been retained and substantially reworked to provide level access at street level.
A new spacious double-height reception facing onto Southwark Street features a polished concrete floor and perforated metal wall panelling, creating an impressive welcome. Interiors display a bold graphic quality with a black and white palette of materials. Black steel staircases, balustrades, handrails, window frames and skylights are offset by white walls and lighting. Flooded with natural light, office spaces feature open plan floor plates and are designed to be flexible, adapting to occupiers’ needs as they change. Sliding floor-to-ceiling windows along the length of the front elevation open onto new expansive terraces on the 5th and 6th floors to provide valuable amenity space, wraparound views towards the city skyline and a ‘wow factor’ for tenants.
“The new Cooper & Southwark has been intelligently expanded and provides an improved and more coherent space and experience for the end-user. The building’s design quality is proven by our ability to pre-let the entire development to a high calibre occupier, CBRE’s Global Workspace Solutions division.”Liam Dillon, HB Reavis UK Development Manager