AFL Architects complete Salford Headquarters with vast flexible office space
Morson International is one of the largest and most highly respected technical recruitment companies in the world, providing flexible resourcing solutions across many sectors of employment. The aim of both Morson International anf their Architects - AFL - was to create a dynamic and contemporary new office building on this prominent site in Salford to serve as their new corporate headquarters.
The proposal provides circa 55,000 sq ft of flexible office space over four general levels, with corporate facilities on the top floor. The building is sited on a significant gateway site, bound to the north by Centenary Way and by the Manchester Ship Canal to the south. The main building form contains the ground to third floor accommodation and is clad primarily in a curtain wall glazing system, with the overall emphasis on the long north and south elevations being horizontal.
However, the larger translucent elements have been enlivened and broken up by the introduction of solid angled gables and overlaid with bold coloured screens in a red/ orange finish that further break up and add interest and depth to the facades. Solid panels to the north, and large format louvers to the south provide solar shading as required. The staircase at either end of the building, together with the top floor are recessed to break up and add depth to the overall massing, also increasing the play of light and shadow across the elevations.
To contrast with the translucent long facades, the gables have been clad in a dark grey rain-screen cladding system. These gables, along with the roofline have been angled to lend movement and dynamism to the building form. A third of these gable elements were introduced to create a strong entrance feature, and wraps over the main roofline, providing space for both a residential apartment and plant requirements.