ESA designs for former Birdseye HQ gain planning consent
ESA Architects, with offices in London, Hull and Poland, has gained planning consent for the iconic 1960’s former Birdseye HQ in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. The existing modern ‘campus’ building is listed Grade ll and was bought by ESA’s client, Green Property, in 2006. The original aluminium-clad building, designed by Sir John Burnet Tait, is very much of its time and a classic example of a purpose-built out of town post war office headquarters.
As well as replacing the external cladding and refurbishing the existing 17,000sq m building ESA has got consent to replace the original 1963 annex with a brand new 10,000M2 three-storey modern addition, forming a new public court in the space between the two buildings. The consented proposals have received the backing of English Heritage, the organisation protecting listed buildings in England.
The original building harbors tales of penguins and crocodiles roaming the two existing courts in the days when Birdseye inhabited the offices! The external landscaping, including the original John McCarthy bronze bird sculptures, will also be refurbished along with the re-organisation of the surrounding carparks and formal road-side lawns to complete the setting of what will be a powerful ensemble of twentieth and twenty-first century office architecture.