FORGE, Woking.

Challenging conventional design.

A restoration endeavour.
Putting people first.

Challenge accepted.

FORGE (originally called InBev House) was constructed in the 1980s; after 40-years, the vacant offices were in desperate need of modernisation. It was concluded that rather than being demolished, FORGE was to undergo a complete refurbishment, transforming the dated, concrete structure into a forward thinking and human-centred workplace.

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FORGE showcases why a refurbishment can outweigh new build construction.
Ross Macpherson, Associate Director.
Challenge

A before and after.

This repositioning project saw us design around the building’s pre-existing limitations. The existing fit-out was completely stripped out with the cores re-modelled and primary plant relocated. The labyrinth of established corridors, boxy rooms and dated workspaces meant we had to find smart solutions for the challenging obstacles that lay in our way. This included upgrading the thermal fabric for better performance and increasing occupancy densities – all while improving the entire look and feel of the space.

Approach

Above and beyond.

Our client wanted to deliver a unique workspace, different to those in the surrounding area, by focusing on occupant health & wellbeing. In order to create a flexible, sustainable and productive space, we worked closely and collaboratively with all the teams to understand the requirements of future tenants. But our focus was not only cosmetic; FORGE was designed to be conscious of its environmental impact, achieving BREEAM Excellent, Cycle Score Platinum, WiredScore Platinum and a Fitwel 2-star rating.
Technical impact

Working in synergy.

FORGE needed new and modern services throughout and, in order to deliver a building that was both functional and practical, they needed to work together in unison. We embedded specialist lighting throughout the building, installed a high efficiency air source heat pump technology for heating and cooling, fitted solar-controlled glazing and enabled multi-tenanted floor plates. We also designed the services to link directly to a smart phone app app, keeping the building users informed and in control of how the building is operating and allowing building occupants access to the building and share local information.
Human impact

The future of the workplace.

FORGE challenges office design conventions and paves the way for future developments. The building has been created to ensure maximum flexibility for its users. From the café in the reception, to the wide variety of spaces in the atrium grid, and even the sun loungers on the top floor, people can choose the best space to interact. By creating these collaborative, co-working breakout areas, people are able to work in a modern and productive way that does not confine them to their desk area. This design, layout and functionality makes FORGE a truly modern workplace, ready to support the businesses of the future.
As engineers, we know that the embodied carbon of a new build is greater than refurbishment. We should retain, repair, refurbish and reposition existing buildings wherever possible.
Key Figures
78,199 square foot
B EPC rating

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This complete metamorphosis demonstrates what can be achieved when forward thinking modern design is applied to regeneration projects.
Ross Macpherson, Associate Director.