Our Hero story

C-Space

Helical Bar | Buckley Grey Yeoman

Workplace
Tim Rathbone, Partner at Hoare Lea

Lead Partner:
Tim Rathbone

Connected community.
Welcoming workplace.

Challenge accepted.

C-Space is a bold example of refurbishment and building re-use. As a tired former 1960s carpet factory, it has been transformed into a modern and stylish commercial workspace.

Rather than targeting traditional blue-chip companies, C-Space is positioned to attract an emerging contemporary tenant, with its unique offering in the heart of London’s creative and technology quarter. In response, it was a project that required some of our most sustainable and creative thinking.

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C-Space is a perfect example of a building with a dash of local character that’s open and flexible enough to suit a whole range of tenants.
Matthew Bonning-Snook, Director, Helical plc
challenge

Passive principles.

We were working to a demanding timeframe for the design and construction. The overarching brief was for flexible floor space and a high-quality environment and services – all while achieving the most amount of net lettable area and potential rental value. We brought our MEP, Acoustics, Sustainability, and Vertical Transportation expertise to the project, which allowed us to incorporate holistic passive design principles throughout the process.
Approach

Rethinking space.

Despite its age, the building was readily adaptable, with high ceilings, a good depth of floor plate, and some great opportunities for letting in daylight. The reorganisation of C-Space around the courtyard was central to its success. It freed up the valuable perimeter of the site for office space. By removing two existing stair cores and consolidating the core and floor space, a welcoming and stylish new entrance way could be created. Cut backs to the ground floor slab also created attractive basement office, driving up rental values. By working with the utility companies we were able to successfully reduce the footprint of an existing on-site substation and return net lettable area to the basement office floors.
Technical impact

Central performance.

We needed to completely strip out and replace all the building services systems. With energy efficiency, architectural aesthetics, and future tenant flexibility as key considerations, we implemented solutions such as LED lighting with daylight dimming and centralised building management system. In order to meet our brief of clean soffits that exposed the heritage nature of the building, we developed an innovative ventilation and cooling strategy. This used the floor void to do all the hard work, and freeing the ceilings up to look the part of a cool industrial building.
human impact

Public persona.

With the new courtyard now the centrepiece of the site, it is opened up to the public during daylight hours. Natural light floods into the building thanks to the full-height glazing, which also offers a connection to the lively Shoreditch streetscape. The result is a relationship between the building and the community that had not previously existed; it’s no wonder the majority of the development was let prior to practical completion. The project was also profiled as an exemplar of re-use and refurbishment by the British Council for Offices. Ultimately, C-Space shows how great design can bring value to client, tenant, community and city.
With market demands shifting and our cities full of useful building stock, C-Space stands not only as an aspirational project but also as a model that we will hopefully see more of.
Key Figures
1960s carpet factory
2016 British Council for Offices, shortlisted for the London and South East Refurbished / Recycled category
2.5 years from appointment of the design team to practical completion

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Buildings like C-Space offer beautiful, imaginative environments, sensitive to human needs. Which means people are happier, more productive, and proud of where they work.
Matt Yeoman, Buckley Gray Yeoman
Tim Rathbone, Partner at Hoare Lea

Lead Partner:
Tim Rathbone

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