Duke of Edinburgh opens Broadway Malyan-designed Ordnance Survey HQ / by rachel

The Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the Ordnance Survey’s new head office in Southampton, UK, during an official visit on 4th October, with the building designed by global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan. The Ordnance Survey moved into its new environmentally-friendly head office in February, with the practice having delivered architecture, landscape architecture and space planning services on the project, and the head office building itself comprising a business centre, atrium and open plan offices arranged over three stories to accommodate 1,000 employees.

Practice director John Turner said: “The official opening is the final chapter in what has been one of our largest new-build workplace projects in recent years, with the scheme now part of our global portfolio of workplace projects, which includes the recently-completed fit-out of HSBC’s head quarter building in Singapore.

“It has drawn on the world-class skills, expertise and experience of our diverse workplace design experts, who partnered with the client, and development team to deliver an exceptional, user-focused and highly-sustainable building.”

Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB, Ordnance Survey Director General and Chief Executive said: “We are absolutely delighted that The Duke of Edinburgh has officially opened our new building. Our new head office perfectly fits our role as a modern, technology-based organisation.”

The design of the building was heavily influenced by the physical and environmental surroundings of the site, and the desire to create a sustainable development which maximises natural resources and minimises CO² emissions, with the BREEAM-rated building employing passive techniques to control thermal overheating, and utilising building orientation and massing to make the building work in the favour of the building’s users.

The open plan offices are arranged in fingers running east-west with windows that provide natural ventilation and cooling. Their orientation ensures that maximum potential is made of the prevailing winds and that occupants can enjoy views across the landscaped grounds and to the countryside beyond.

The long curving frontage of the building contains the business centre and the building's support facilities. It is designed to extend at each end as a free standing wall which acts as an acoustic buffer to shield the building and site against noise from a nearby motorway.

An atrium forming the social centre of the headquarters links the offices with the business centre, creating a prominent entrance to the head office which is visible from the campus entrance and which brings visitors into the heart of the building.

The scheme includes a ground source heat pump, involving over 100 wells to augment heating and cooling loads, and the building features a state-of-the-art Building Management System which optimises energy use and thermal capture.

Originally founded in 1791 to map the south-coast of England for fear of invasion by Napoleon, today Ordnance Survey is a £130 million-a-year public sector business. It collects, maintains and distributes geographic data that helps underpin everything from rubbish collection to planning flood defences.

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