The brief was to set a new standard for workplaces in the Thames Valley and provide a different offering to a typical Thames Valley Park building. Spear Street Capital wanted to create an inside and outside linked building with facilities and benefits that create a sense of community within the development and the wider park as a whole.
Earley East and Earley West were previously known as TVP1 and TVP2. Earley East had been home to Fujitsu since 1996 and having been empty for a few years, needed a full refurbishment. The Spear Street Capital team recognised the potential to deliver something different and add some value to the business park as a whole.
Having inherited a development built to a 1980’s developer specification, the Earley East building was in a tired condition and had a dysfunctional layout which meant the building approach, entrances, common parts and amenities all needed to be reviewed and redeveloped. The finished solution needed to maximise the Net Internal Area (NIA), create usable outside space, be in keeping with the Spear Street Capital brand which is less corporate and be more hospitality focused. Additionally, the solution needed to be practical and flexible to ensure it was suitable for both single and multi-let tenants.
Area alongside the professional team, including Paragon Building Consultancy (Project Managers and QS), Pinnacle ESP (M&E Services Consultants), branding company Mammal, and Alphacello (Sustainability Consultants) delivered an extensive Cat A refurbishment of 85,000 square feet of commercial space.
The result is a modern campus-style development designed with its tenants in mind. Sitting in its own beautiful 80-acre landscaped park makes Thames Valley Park special; but now, with the fresh amenities introduced by Spear Street Capital and designed by the Area team, there is now a very different dynamic.
The scope of works included a full strip out back to the building’s shell and core before a fit out of all three floors was completed. The large car park was also significantly upgraded and major landscaping works were undertaken to the front exterior including the construction of an exterior café.
A major centre piece for the project is the double storey reception in Earley East which incorporates a mezzanine lounge. This reflects the modern thinking Spear Street Capital wanted from Area for the workplace as it serves not just as a welcoming space, but doubles as a flexible working environment with different features and spaces for tenants.
Across both buildings, Spear Street Capital set high sustainability targets. Area brought in specialist Sustainability Consultant, Mathew Byway of Alphacello. His team has worked hard with Area and its suppliers to drive the project towards being carbon neutral, grouping deliveries, eliminating single use plastic and even going so far as to make sure only Fairtrade tea and coffee was available on site. The Earley Buildings has an energy performance rating (EPC) of B and has achieved BREEAM ‘very good building’ status.