This Operational Facilities centre in Darlington accommodates Orange’s request for an enhanced, unified campus for its growing customer service department.
Drawing on Grimshaw’s experience with industrial buildings, the lightweight, largely prefabricated structure creates a streamlined project of low cost that also allows for future flexibility to be pared back for manufacturing use.
Housed in a simple rectilinear building with open-plan, double-height interiors, the design gives users the freedom to dictate the arrangement of workstations within. The single volume is arranged around a central split-level catering facility, which forms the heart of the Orange campus and bisects the two large work areas.
Bespoke service ‘trees’ accommodate information modules and a roof-level lighting system that are hosted by the stainless steel roof columns. The adjustable, petal-like glass-fibre light diffusers reflect rays from column-mounted uplighters and enhance sunlight from circular roof lights.
The simplicity of the skeletal building structure allows for a single 60 m window that rises 9 m on the south façade, providing ample daylight to the interior and giving staff views out to the landscaped surroundings.
By night, the illuminated transparent facade acts as a beacon for Orange and underpins its perception as an approachable, modern company.
Orange PCS (Hans Snook)
5,600 sq m
Peter Cook/View, Tim Soar