In the UK, construction work is set to begin on a major new office development in a key London commuter town.
Victoria House is being developed by Frontier Estates on Avebury Boulevard in the heart of Milton Keynes’ business district.
The 3,500 sqm development, which overlooks the nearby Grafton Park, is set to be the new Milton Keynes base for business advisory firm Grant Thornton which has signed a pre-let deal to take 1,850 sqm in the building.
Broadway Malyan director Neil Rose said the architectural expression of the building reflected Milton Keynes’ heritage while also ensuring it met ambitious sustainability targets.
He said: “Our design approach was very much about looking to go back to the simple modernism of Milton Keynes with a regular and simple gridded façade of concrete and brick which reflects the early aspirations of the new town.
“As a building with BREEAM excellent aspirations we have put sustainability at the heart of the design process, so the façade, with its deep reveals, is aimed at helping to shade the floorplates and minimise the internal heat gains in the building.”
Frontier director Mike Mansell said the scheme reflected a growing confidence in Milton Keynes as a business destination, both for existing companies and new investors.
He said: “Milton Keynes’ strong skills base and quality housing stock as well as its easy access to London have supported its strong economic growth in recent years and Victoria House represents our belief that it retains significant long term potential.
“Victoria House is an exciting development for Frontier and one of the biggest commercial investments in Milton Keynes for a number of years. We are delighted to welcome Grant Thornton to a building that we believe will make a notable contribution to the urban landscape.”
Other features of the building include a roof-top terrace overlooking Avebury Boulevard, a covered colonnade along the front of the building, 49 car parking spaces and pedestrian access routes to Grafton Park.
Kevin Gale, practice leader at Grant Thornton’s Milton Keynes office, added: “Grant Thornton has operated in Milton Keynes for nearly 40 years and the move to Victoria House from our current location in Silbury Boulevard underlines the firm’s ongoing commitment to the local and regional market.
“We are continually investing in and developing the services we offer to clients as part of the firm’s strategy for growth and relocating next year represents another major step in the process.”
Location – Avebury Boulevard, Milton Keynes, UK
Type of project – New Build Headquarter Building
Client – Frontier Estates
Architect – Broadway Malyan
Landscape architect – Broadway Malyan
Planning consultant – Turley
Structural engineer – BWB Consulting Limited
M&E consultant - Couch Perry Wilkes
Quantity surveyor – Goring Berry
Planning supervisor – Turner and Townsend
Lighting consultant – Couch Perry Wilkes
Main contractor – Winvic
Tender date – 01.12.15
Start on site date – 21.3.16
Completion date – 03.04.17
Contract duration – 14 months
Gross internal floor area –
Form of contract and/or procurement – Design and build
Total cost - £7.1m