How to Capitalise on your London Office refurbishment
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April 13, 2023
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Office Refurbishments Done Right: How Architects Awards Set the Trends

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Office Refurbishments Done Right: How Architects Awards Set the Trends

It’s award season, or at least the shortlist is closed for the RIBA National Awards. The awards will be announced in October 2023. The winner of the 2022 prize was a diverse bunch that included 100 Liverpool Street by Hopkins Architects, The BFI Riverfront by Carmody Groarke, and Kiln Place by Peter Barber Architects, who took a long look at social housing and designed accordingly.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture announced its awards for 2023. A seven-person jury determines the awards to honour modern structures of all functions, scales, and price ranges.

Comprising of 16 recipients, they include Henning Larsen’s new Minneapolis Public Service Building (PSB), Marlon Blackwell Architects’ Marygrove Early Education Centre, a finalist for Project of the Year in AN’s 2022 Best of Design Awards, and CO Architects’ renovation of Paul Revere Williams’ Pritzker Hall at the University of California, Los Angeles, among the winning projects.

The AIA says its “architecture programme celebrates the best contemporary architecture and highlights the many ways that spaces and buildings can improve lives.” The AIA chooses contest entries as winners for “demonstrate design achievement, including a sense of place, purpose, history, and environmental sustainability.”

Let us help you create a workspace that meets your vision and goals outlined in your architect’s designs. With our commitment to quality and customer service, you can be sure that your project will be in safe hands, our team of specialist contractors offer an affordable alternative to big name businesses in the construction industry. Get in touch today on 020 8938 3893, and let’s get to work tomorrow.

Office Refurbishments Done Right

Here is a look at two diverse winners who focused their talents on Office Refurbishments Done Right and took home the gongs.

100 Liverpool Street Refurbishment

Right in the middle of London 100 Liverpool Street by Hopkins Architects is a refurbishment project that transformed a nondescript 1980s office building into a high-quality, flexible commercial building for modern use.

Hopkins Architects salvaged what could be reused, unpicked what could not (for sustainable removal) and added only the necessary elements to create a modern space fit for use. They won the RIBA London Award, Client Award and National Award 2022 while shortlisted for the Sterling Prize.

The building refurbishment was not without its difficulties as it sits over several railway tracks and is next door to a bus station. However, Hopkins Architects retained the existing foundations and a large proportion of the original steelwork but extended the building to include three new office floors with large, well-designed terraces and rooftop gardens at upper levels. 

The core was also moved to create a new elliptical atrium at the building’s heart, increasing the quality of available retail and leisure space. Similarly, the AIA awards looked at many dynamic rebuilds, but 633 Folsom is fascinating because it redeveloped an office block built in 1967.

633 Folsom Street Office Refurbishments

Swig Company’s 633 Folsom Street is a rare commercial building in San Francisco that had been vacant for some time. Swig Company enlisted Gensler/Deenzeen, architects based in London, to renovate and re-imagine the space to address the demands of modern tenants and enhance the appeal of the neighbourhood.

The office block was completely redesigned with an eye on sustainability and occupant well-being, including daylight access for all building areas. The design team used a combination of mass timber panels and prefabricated components to cut down on construction times, costs and embodied energy.

The result is a bright, airy, sustainable office building that revitalises the area by providing an emotionally and environmentally responsive modern workplace. The US Green Building Council has recognised 633 Folsom Street’s sustainability credentials with a LEED Silver certification.

From grand designs to urban refurbs, it’s clear that office refurbishments and interior office redesigns can significantly impact well-being and the local environment. By leveraging existing buildings, sustainable materials and clever design, these projects demonstrate how much of an effect architecture can have in our everyday lives.

The winners of AIA’s Architecture Awards 2023 and the RIBA Awards 2022 prove that thoughtful design and repurposing of existing buildings can deliver beautiful, sustainable, and life-enhancing spaces for people to work and live.

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Why These Awards Are Relevant to You and Your Office Refurbishment

As a landlord or tenant of a London office building, you may be wondering why these awards are relevant, and the answer is they aren’t – in the short view, but as an overview of what is going on in the design world, the awards are important.

Here are ten crucial design features we can take from the awards and turn into forward-thinking information that you can use in office refurbishment projects:

  1. Reusing existing foundations and steelwork to reduce costs, embodied energy, and waste.


  1. Moving the core of a building to create new spaces with better natural light access and ventilation.


  1. Investing in flexible interior design options to meet changing occupant needs over time.


  1. Adding terraces and rooftop gardens to provide breakout spaces and access to fresh air and natural daylight.


  1. Integrating sustainable materials such as mass timber panels and prefabricated components into the design.


  1. Enhancing building performance through innovative technologies integrated with HVAC systems, LED lighting, or other building functions.


  1. Adding energy-saving measures such as solar panels, natural ventilation systems, and green roofs where possible to reduce operating costs.


  1. Integrating existing or new public transport connections for easy access to the building’s occupants.


  1. Leveraging technology to create a connected workplace that encourages movement and collaboration between departments and teams.


  1. Creating a vibrant, aesthetically pleasing workspace encourages productivity and meets occupants’ needs.


By understanding some of the fundamental principles behind the award-winning designs of the past few years, you can apply these ideas to your office refurbishment or interior redesign project. Whether planning a complete overhaul of your existing office building or looking to make minor changes that will have a significant impact, these design features can help you create a more sustainable, responsive and modern workplace.

Talk to an experienced team of interior designers today to find out how they can help you bring your office designs up to speed with the latest trends and technologies. The awards are a great place to start when creating an innovative and inspiring workspace, from office refurbishments to interior office redesigns.

With careful thought and attention to detail, you can transform your building into something extraordinary that will be energy efficient and emotionally responsive. Talk to an experienced team of interior designers today to find out how you can achieve these same design goals for your project.

Office Refurbishments Done Right with Initial Interiors 

Initial Interiors is based in London N2; we cover all of central London including EC1, EC2, EC3, EC4, E1, and WC1, WC2, W1, N1, SE1 and the home counties. We aim to transform people’s thoughts about workspaces through design, construction and technology. We are passionate about creating efficient and sustainable spaces that enhance morale and productivity for all users. From complete office refurbishments to bespoke interior office redesigns, our experienced designers can help you create a workspace tailored to your needs. Contact us today to find out more.


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