AEW Architects have completed a £15m, 91,000sq.ft headquarters for Moneypenny, the UK’s leading telephone answering specialist. The new offices in Wrexham have been said to rival the offices of Google and Apple, and boast a tree house meeting room, nature trails, vegetable gardens and even its own pub.
The staff are at the heart of Moneypenny’s business and the brief from the client reflected the importance of its team and the desire to create an interesting, inspiring working environment for them, bringing everyone together from several different offices.
The office was designed as two three storey wings flanking a dramatic, 17m high central atrium, known affectionately as ‘the middle’, which is the hub of the building. One of the challenges was to ensure that the staff, no matter which floor they were on, felt connected to the ‘middle’. This was achieved through the use of large picture windows looking directly into it from the offices and through the placement of bridge links crossing at high level. The atrium includes a treehouse meeting room, indoor terrace and stadium seating. The office space within the wings has been designed to provide a high performance acoustic environment, necessary for the function of the business.
Sustainability was a key consideration with the building utilising mixed mode natural ventilation, ground source heat pumps, high efficiency windows and the provision for PV’s in the future.
Set within a 10 acre site in a semi rural location on the edge of the Wrexham town centre, the office building was designed in response to the surrounding environment to provide a strong relationship between interior and exterior and includes a nature trail for staff through the extensive grounds with landscape features including a meadow, woodland, an orchard and wetland. From the upper floors of the building and outside seating area there are far reaching views of the surrounding countryside for the staff to enjoy.
Phil Hepworth, Associate at AEW Architects said:
“This really has been a dream commission for AEW Architects and a real honour to work with such an exciting, forward thinking company such as Moneypenny. The opportunity to create a bespoke office of this magnitude on such a beautiful site where the brief is to ‘ignore the norm and create a space that inspires’ is rare. We really hope that the design helps the company continue to excel and inspires the staff to enjoy working there.”
Ed Reeves, co-founder and director of Moneypenny believes the building represents the future of office design. He said:
“What we believe is simple – the happier our staff, the happier our clients. So when we made the decision to build a new office, we asked ourselves: how we can make sure that our receptionists are the happiest in the UK? The answer was easy – ask them. So that’s what we did. AEW Architects were the perfect partners to help make their vision become a reality. They took our thoughts, suggestions and ideas and created our dream home. What’s even more remarkable is that they have delivered a world-class and visually stunning commercial development for the same budget we’d been quoted for a standard brick ‘box’ office. As a result we have a bespoke office development which offers our employees the ultimate work environment, and in turn provides stunning service to our clients. It was a challenge, but the project has ripped up the rulebook in terms of traditional workplace design.”
Jim Nicholson, CEO of Pochin’s Ltd, added:
“Since our very first projects in the 1930s, North Wales has always played an important part in Pochin’s history. With this new campus Moneypenny is continuing to drive the growth in the region’s economy and we’re proud to be able to support them in doing so.”
The main contractor was Pochin’s Ltd, with Hatrick Property as Development Director, Avid Property Consultants as Project Managers, Cundall as M&E Consultants and Structural Engineers, CW Studio as Landscape Architect and Todd and Ledson as Quantity Surveyor.