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Wyre Forest District Council Offices

Award-winning new civic offices

Historically, Wyre Forest District Council occupied a number of buildings within the areas of Stourport-on-Severn, Bewdley and Kidderminster.

In a bid to promote greater efficiency, provide an enhanced working environment for staff, and present a stronger overall customer experience, the Council sought to consolidate office and civic functions into a prominents and efficient new headquarters building.

Inspired by local carpet weaving sheds, the scheme is a simple, two-storey building, planned with: a civic entrance 'piazza'; a public east-wing housing all public functions; a private west-wing accommodating all office functions and a public concourse/reception linking each wing.

Internally, the building is planned around a ‘tartan’ grid of circulation/support spaces and clear office footplates. Consultation with staff and key stakeholders resulted in a diagram arranging the office space into small, autonomous teams, forming communities off a ‘main’ circulation street, enveloped by central courtyard gardens.

Common facilities (meeting rooms, beverage areas and social facilities) are arranged off this street, encouraging social interaction, whilst distinct team zones engender a sense of place and team ownership – a key factor promoting the Council’s flexible working project, and directly addressing employee concerns of anonymity and alienation.

Cost effective, maintenance-free and hard wearing materials were selected throughout including facing brick and cedar cladding with timber composite windows, zinc and sedum roofing, explosed PCC plank ceilings, drylined/frameless glass partitions and frameless glass balustrading.

Operational costs are further minimised through an open loop, ground source heat pump and active chilled beams, providing primary heating/cooling and operating in conjunction with mixed mode ventilation.

Not only providing a modern, flexible working space for Wyre Forest District Council’s workforce, the building also provides an excellent venue for public and formal meetings. Moreover it delivers significant environmental improvements, with a projected reduction of 85% in our CO2 emissions compared to the previous offices. Apart from being more energy-efficient, the building is essential to the council's transformation, releasing savings of £500,000 a year to protect front-line services and allowing it to more easily to drive cultural change by bringing most of its office-based staff into one place.

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