Second chance for former supermarket in Elgin transformed into flexible office space
A disused supermarket building in Elgin, Scotland, is to be inventively transformed into sustainable offices for The Moray Council. The potential of the underutilised structure was unearthed when The Moray Council undertook an extensive review of its buildings, and a team of architectural practitioners was brought in to rejuvenate the space.
Bennetts Associates was appointed as part of a Mace team to prepare design information to RIBA stage D, converting the 3,000 sq m space into highly sustainable, flexible office facilities. The new structure will consolidate the 21 buildings currently being used as office accommodation by the council down to just two.
By relocating the existing entranceway to reconnect with the adjacent mediaeval High Street, public access will be much easier, with equal attention paid to the day-to-day experience of the office workers. Internally, all finishes have been stripped out to expose the structural steel elements, creating a flexible floor plan that consists of meeting rooms in specially designed pods and large breakout spaces for informal meetings.
In an effort to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent' score, wind towers and roof lights have been incorporated into the design, allowing all interior workspaces to be naturally ventilated. The project aims is targeting carbon emissions of 28KgCO2/m2/a, ideally taking the building from an Energy Performance Certificate of G to B.
Rab Bennetts, Director of Bennetts Associates, said: "This project is a timely example of how neglected buildings of numerous typologies can be reinterpreted into cost-effective and imaginative spaces. The transformation of the supermarket in Elgin into sustainable office accommodation is particularly important as it allows the Council to rationalise its building stock whilst connecting the headquarters to the local community."
Bennetts Associates was responsible for the RIBA Stage D design and the practice will continue to offer strategic advice whilst the project is completed by contractors Stewart Milne Construction and implementation architects Douglas Forrest of Acanthus Architects.