Rochdale’s Number One Riverside Named as UK’s Top Workplace 2014

Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council building scoops top prize at British Council for Offices National Awards

Number One Riverside on Smith Street in Rochdale was named as the 2014 best workplace in the country at the British Council for Offices’ (BCO) annual National Awards in London last night.

The office was also recognised as the Best Corporate Workplace in the UK, and topped a list of six other award winners recognised for excellence in office space to be named 2014 Best of the Best. The other award winners were:

  • Commercial Workplace: One Eagle Place, London
  • Refurbished & recycled: The Council House Derby
  • Fit Out of Workplace: Arthur J. Gallagher, The Walbrook Building, London
  • Project up to 2,000m2: Argent 4 Stable Street, London
  • Innovation: The Sharp Project, Manchester
  • Test of Time: Guardian News & Media, Kings Place, London

The BCO’s respected National Awards programme recognises top quality office design and functionality and sets the standard for excellence across the office sector in the UK. Over 1,200 of the country’s top designers, developers, architects and occupiers, who won their category in the 2014 Regional Awards programme, attended last night’s National Awards dinner, hoping to take home the National Award for their category.

Number One Riverside was singled out by the judges for its transformation of the estate from 33 buildings into one. The project is iconic in representing the first phase of regeneration in the borough of Rochdale, providing a new civic office that promotes new ways of working and creates a sense of community, engagement and social transparency.

The brief was to create a modern and contemporary workplace but also to ensure the accommodation could deliver space for a number of alternative uses such as a public library, cafe areas and of course the workplace. The judges were won over with how the designers not only met the brief perfectly, seamlessly incorporating central customer service and public library spaces with different types of private meeting spaces, but with how they also created a landmark building that has acted as a catalyst for much needed investment in Rochdale town centre.

Tim Robinson, Head of Property Asset Management at Knight Frank LLP and BCO Awards Chairman commented: “Number One Riverside is a true catalyst that will facilitate the transformation and regeneration of the borough of Rochdale. The competition in this year’s National Awards is as tough as ever, with expectations set very high, but this project united the judges in its success and importance as a focal point for Rochdale.”

Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the BCO, said: “Each of the buildings recognised in this year’s National Awards represent the very best in visionary office design and functionality. They demonstrate how taking an occupier-centric approach can create innovative and efficient spaces that, as an industry, we can be very proud of.

Together, the winning buildings reflect a strong sense of confidence and positivity in the office sector. Number One Riverside, the 2014 Best of the Best winner, is the epitome of this with the confidence taken in its original brief and concept leading to it becoming a new benchmark for semi-public buildings. All shortlisted and winning entrants should be congratulated on their efforts in continuing to showcase the impact intelligent office design can have to businesses.”