£44 million renovation turning ugly office tower into mixed-use asset in Reading, UK

Reading is a large, historically important town in the county of Berkshire, England, just west of London. It was an important center in the medieval period, as the site of Reading Abbey, whose significant significant ruins remain.

The town was seriously affected by the English Civil War, with a major siege and loss of trade, and played a pivotal role in the Revolution of 1688, with that revolution’s only significant military action fought on the streets of the town. The 19th century saw the coming of the Great Western Railway and the development of the town’s brewing, baking and seed growing businesses.

Today Reading is a major commercial center, primarily information technology and insurance. It’s economic health is evidenced by the fact that–despite its proximity to London–Reading has a net inward commuter flow.

Like many cities around the world, Reading suffers from buildings designed during the 70s and 80’s: what many consider to be the Dark Ages of architecture. The thrust of this £44 million renovation project was to redevelop and reinvigorate an outdated 1980s office block into a contemporary mixed-use work place for the 21st century.

Hence the key objective was to entice high-calibre forward-thinking companies looking for premises in an urban and vibrant location rich in amenities.

Various options were considered, including full demolition. The solution eventually chosen was to strip back to the frame and add four new steel-framed office floors, making it a more sustainable option.

From dn-a website:
dn-a is an innovative architectural studio based in Richmond, London, that work on projects encompassing architecture, master planning and interior design. We work across a variety of sectors, including commercial, retail, residential, hospitality, entertainment and leisure.

The studio was co-founded in 2004 by Jai Sanghera and Stuart McLarty. Nick Troullides joined in 2015 as a director. Our team has produced a remarkable range of high profile buildings, always aiming to characterise each project by a real sense of place, elegant and sustainable design and end-user satisfaction.

Images via dn-a Architecture.

See full Construction Manager article.

See dn-a Architecture website.

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