Improving the street presence
Originally comprising of two separate buildings with a connecting block that straddles a site between Briset Street and St. John’s Square, the development was previously refurbished and extended in 2001. Dated facades, inefficient use of available space and tired interiors necessitated a significant upgrade to ensure the building was in line with high standards and expectations for a contemporary office.
The 7-storey building has been overhauled through a number of key tactics including recladding the terracotta facade on Briset Street with large format corten and concrete effect ceramic tiles to improve the street presence - the first time this innovative ultra-thin rain-screen cladding system has been used in this context in the UK.
A crafted industrial aesthetic
The Smithson has been extended at ground floor level to create an impactful new entrance and double height reception with level access. Existing heavily framed glazing has been replaced with larger slender profiled windows to increase natural light levels throughout.
The interior has been reconfigured for efficiency and to allow in more light, while infilling three lightwells has increased overall usable space. A refined palette of existing and new materials including concrete, steel, oak and ceramic tiles give The Smithson a crafted industrial aesthetic. A curved glulam ceiling on the 5th floor which was constructed as part of previous refurbishment works has been retained and celebrated as a part of The Smithson’s history.
Flexibility for future tenants' needs
A secondary entrance on St John’s Square, widened to include a sesame lift for level access, creates a self-contained office on the ground and lower ground floor and ensures that the development can be flexible and adapt to tenants’ future needs.
The installation of new efficient mechanical systems, use of energy efficient materials, provision of external terraces and amenities to encourage cycling promote sustainability and wellbeing in the workplace.