Planning consent has been granted for the refurbishment of and extension to Connaught House, a dated and under-used 1960s office building in Guildford town centre.

Designed by architecture practice dn-a for Beltane Asset Management, the redevelopment will see the transformation of Connaught House to create sustainable, high quality workspace that will attract new occupiers to the town. Once complete the new office space will be available from the first quarter of 2019.

The key architectural ethos is to rationalise the floorplates and make the building more efficient within the existing structure. Removing the traditional lift lobby enclosure on each floor enables larger, deeper and therefore more flexible floor space to be created.

The original filigree pre-cast concrete mullions will be retained and repaired where necessary. Within the elegant and simple grid, aperture sizes will be maximised and existing sash windows and spandrel panels replaced with high performance glazed units which incorporate natural ventilation.

Connaught House Guildford

Two additional storeys will be added which, along with the rationalisation of the existing four floors, will increase the total floorspace from approximately 32,300 sq ft to 52,700 sq ft. Of lightweight steel construction, the new structural grid relates directly to the existing building with alternate mullions on the upper floors removed, to give a lighter appearance.

At ground level, the retail units will be upgraded, creating greater animation at this level and a new portal entrance will significantly improve the building’s street presence. Two levels of undercroft car parking will be partially hidden from view by the introduction of timber screening.

Internally the floors will be stripped back to the soffit, creating additional height and volume for prospective tenants. External terraces on the first, fifth and roof will further add to the appeal and vibrancy of the building.

Duncan Roe, Partner at Beltane Asset Management says: “We are extremely positive about this exciting opportunity in Guildford. We are confident Connaught House will draw a range of new occupiers to this attractive part of the Town and provide the calibre of workspace that has a positive impact on business performance, including staff attraction and retention, productivity, wellness and more.”

Jai Sanghera, Director at dn-a added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to reinvigorate a building that is past its best and create a new standard for offices in Guildford town centre. Our approach melds the best of the existing building with a more streamlined, contemporary design thereby respecting both the heritage and context, whilst ensuring the highest standards of quality and sustainability for future occupiers of Connaught House”

Read more here.

Existing Connaught House 255 High Street Guildford