In 1998, HQ Global Workplaces picked up a narrow sliver of land at the corner of the huge Spitalfields development at the eastern fringe of the City of London. With a footprint only 10.5 m deep, the site did not suit a conventional speculative office development, but could accommodate serviced offices with cellular rooms arranged either side of a central corridor. The attraction for serviced office customers is a prominent frontage on Bishopsgate facing the famous Broadgate development.

To make most efficient use of the narrow footprint, multidisciplinary consultant Foggo Associates devised a double interlocking staircase that satisfied fire safety requirements for two escape routes. A triple-glazed facade incorporating a high level of sound insulation brings in maximum daylight and views.

The 2300 m2 building was constructed and fitted out in only 42 weeks at a cost of £4.6m, using an innovative two-stage tender process, called “construction management-plus”, by contractor Exterior International. The first stage was conducted on open-book construction management principles, during which trade tenders were obtained but not awarded for 70% of the project cost. “This gave the client all the advantages of a construction specialist working on their behalf to maximise the value of the project, optimise buildability and programming,” explains Exterior director Mark Rushworth. At this stage, the works packages were rolled into a fixed-price JCT design-and-build contract with Exterior.

The building was completed last December and is currently filling up with City firms.

Built and fitted out in just 42 weeks

Serviced office operator HQ Global Workplaces Serviced office design features Narrow 10.5 m floor plate dictated by tight City site suits cellular offices Location City of London border, opposite Broadgate office development Building developer and owner HQ Global Workplaces and Mercury Asset Management joint venture Project team Foggo Associates (architect and structural and services engineer), Barry Tankel Partnership (project manager), Exterior International (contractor)