B&Q’s new store support office building in Eastleigh, Hampshire, has been designed by an interdisciplinary BDP team following its principle of ‘creating places for people’. The building brings together 1,400 staff from three separate sites, consolidating all operations into one main Store Support Office. The design approach for this building had been driven by 2 key principles: to provide a building that works within the context area; and develop an appropriate response to the business and operational needs of B&Q.
The architectural character needed to establish a striking, sustainable identity, enabling the development to act as an exemplar of B&Q’s culture and values. The Orange Room is the focus of the SSO building, which serves as the main point of contact between store managers countrywide and the store support office staff. The building’s elevational treatment reflects its significance, creating a striking architectural feature of the Orange Room, located adjacent to the arrival atrium and clad in glazed, lava stone.
The scale of the arrival atria helps define this space as the building’s heart, with areas for informal meeting, relaxation and interaction. The highly flexible and visually connected workspaces beyond are spread across three floors, and arranged around three internal courtyards. The building contains restaurant facilities, conference and training centre as well as a gym for staff members.
Achieving BREEAM ‘Excellent’, the design is naturally ventilated with an optional low-energy mechanical mode for seasonal extremes. The building’s solar orientation, façade design, and passive cooling strategies, ensure appropriate levels of daylight and ventilation are achieved throughout, providing a pleasant internal environment. A brown roof provides a habitat for local flora and fauna, whilst solar collectors, biomass heating, and rainwater harvesting support the B&Q’s commitment to 'One Planet Living'.