Earlier this week, the British Council for Offices hosted their annual National Awards dinner – a night dedicated to showcasing the very best workplaces throughout the UK. First established in 1992, the BCO Awards have steadily added more categories and refined their processes over the years, and now offer awards across eight distinct national categories, plus the President’s Award.

This year’s awards were in fact record-breaking, with six of the prestigious awards going to offices within the capital city of London.

London’s Sky Central was awarded the title of ‘Best of the Best’, whilst also picking up the Commercial Workplace award to become a two-time winner. The premises impressed judges with its series of eighteen 200-person workspace ‘neighbourhoods’, which are arranged around six cores and allowed the company to successfully bring together a 3,500-strong team within the single campus, situated near Heathrow, West London. The on-site amenities and services provided, which include six restaurants and cafes as well as a state-of-the-art cinema and technology lounge, also garnered praise from the judges.

The full list of national winners is as follows:
  • President's Award: Paul Finch OBE
  • Best of the Best: Sky Central, Grant Way, Isleworth, Middlesex
  • Commercial Workplace: 8 Finsbury Square, London
  • Corporate Workplace: Sky Central, Grant Way, Isleworth, Middlesex
  • Fit Out of Workplace: The Estee Lauder Companies, One Fitzroy, Mortimer Street, London
  • Refurbished / Recycled Workplace: 20 Eastbourne Terrace, London
  • Projects up to 1500m2: Concordia Works
  • Innovation: Sea Containers, 18 Upper Ground, London
  • Test of Time: Birmingham City Council, 10 Woodcock Street
Nigel Clark, Chair of the BCO National Judging Panel, commented on the night’s recipients and Sky Central in particular, “This year’s winners are a study in how Britain has maintained its position at the forefront of the global office sector. Each building is both adaptable and robust, providing occupiers with the flexibility they need to ensure the wellbeing and productivity of their workforce. Sky Central, the Best of the Best award winner, is a prime example. The building provides ample amenities to Sky’s large workforce, whilst ensuring a productive environment by breaking the larger space down into distinct workplace neighbourhoods.”

Notable features of the other winners which drew the eye of the judges include the two façades of 8 Finsbury Square, which picked up the Commercial Workplace award. One faces out toward Finsbury Circus with an elegant calm insertion and curving elevation, whilst the other incorporates the original façade overlooking Liverpool Street Station.

20 Eastbourne Terrace picked up the Refurbished/Recycled Workplace award for the successful renovation of a rather tired building circa 1960, creating a modern, relaxing workplace in its stead. They received particular praise for their use of natural material throughout the project.

Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the BCO, said of the winning locations/businesses, “This year’s awards nominees have impressed across the board with their commitment to sustainable and innovative design. London has played host to a record number of award winners this year, affirming why businesses from across the world come to the capital. Congratulations to all nominees, our highly commended entrants and, of course, the award winners themselves.”

Additional information on the awards and this year’s winners can be found on the BCO website.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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