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A newly designed council office in Ellesmere Port

The Portal

Our design team has provided Cheshire West and Chester Council with a brand-new office building including facilities for the public.

The name references the name of the town often referred to as The Port whilst also being an entrance and a building bringing a range of partners together to deliver services, help and support. The new building is part of the huge regeneration taking place in Ellesmere Port, this construction generated £5.3 million local spend, provided 27 local jobs, 106 apprentice weeks and opportunities for local schools and colleges to learn more about the construction industry.

Cllr Louise Gittins

Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council

Cheshire West and Chester Council were looking to develop a new council building in the town of Ellesmere Port. The new ‘hub’ would need to focus on the regeneration of the town, bringing new life and cultural interest. Pick Everard’s architecture teams were asked to propose a new building, which catered for public walk-in and staff areas on the ground floor while also housing council staff offices on the upper floors. The build needed to look to future ways of working and provide a relaxed and inviting environment for the public, that challenged conceptions of public sector buildings.

From the start of the project the importance of developing a design that created a blend between staff and public areas was evident. The challenge was how this would be achieved, without compromising staff privacy and comfort. The answer lay within our concept. The team wanted to reflect the towns heritage as a port, introducing curves indicative of a river cutting through a landscape. Using this concept, we were able to propose a design which used curved low-level partitions that allow for privacy while maintaining a connection between staff and public spaces.

Through engaging with stakeholders, the team was able to ascertain which teams required a direct link to the public, who would be able to adapt to a more flexible and agile working policy and which teams needed to work closely together. This close collaboration with the client allowed the team to understand the councils current cultural and physical ways of working. The team were then able to challenge this; demonstrating how the client’s needs could be met while also improving the efficiency of the building, by introducing agile workspaces, drop down meeting areas and a hotdesking policy that promoted a synergy between the teams and their working environment.

Key info

Client

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Status

Recently completed

Design

Architecture, Landscape architecture

Sector

Workplace

Location

Chester

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