The Thames Valley office market is changing rapidly. The number of large scale commercial office developments either completed or being constructed is quite dramatic.

dn-a architects are playing a leading role in the rise of these new office developments in the Thames Valley. The refurbishment of the 60,000 sq ft One Valpy, in Reading, was the first development to be completed of a projected 2 million sq ft that are planned within five minutes’ walk of Reading Station. Thames Tower will be the next to be completed by the end of 2016.

The reason for this vast uptake in office development within central Reading is due to a number of factors. One of the most significant reasons for this is the soon to be completed £15billion Crossrail that will connect Reading to central London. There is also a shift in occupiers demand for easier access to retail and leisure amenities in well-connected areas. Lower rental prices also make the Thames Valley much more desirable. Considering top Paddington rents can command £60/ sq ft, there is the opportunity for occupiers to considerably lower their overheads. These factors are having a dramatic change on the whole of the Thames Valley, in particular for Reading and its surrounding towns.

One Valpy has set the benchmark for office design within the area. The office space is reminiscent of London’s Shoreditch, successfully creating a strong sense of community. This has been achieved by providing the appropriate amenities which play a vital role in engaging increasingly demanding employees.

The office floors deliver contemporary working environments that encourage movement and fluidity, capable of providing break-out areas and seating for collaboration, communication and creativity: creating the ‘coffee shop workspace` feel, that modern companies strive for and which help businesses attract & retain fresh young talent.

The office space is designed to provide everything that is needed for the modern commercial tenant, from excellent connectivity and services through to minimal energy use and running costs. The interiors express a clean, modern and open feel, achieved by removing the traditional suspended ceilings and exposing the in-situ concrete soffit; adding nearly 0.5m to the height of the ceiling.
Along with suspended light fittings and up-and-down lighting provision, the space has been transformed into a well-lit and airy environment.

More important, however, is the flexibility that is provided for tenants, who can customise everything from the design of the kitchen and communal areas to the occupation density of the workplace. This makes One Valpy perfectly suited to the growing, high tech businesses that are being attracted to Reading and the Thames Valley, and has established it as one of the region’s most exciting developments of 2015.

dn-a are also working with Landid Property and Brockton Capital on the ambitious re-engineering of Thames Tower in Reading. This comprehensive refurbishment will provide 188,000 sq ft of Grade A office space. Following a similar blue print to One Valpy; Thames Tower will perfectly balance the latest trends in office design with high value amenities that further add to the community feel being created.

The design concept explores a contemporary reinterpretation of Louis Sullivan’s Guaranty Building in Buffalo, USA. This was the birth of the modern office building and Thames Tower’s proportions allow for a similar design, based on 21st Century engineering with contextual links to the history of Reading.

Removing the dated chamfered corners and adding a modern cladding system will create a timeless building, bringing colour and richness to the station square, whilst also enhancing the environmental performance of the building.

On the ground floor a grand, double height reception area will be created by removing the existing first floor. Introducing a new restaurant to the rear will add to the already vibrant retail offering of Reading Town Centre.

The office space is being designed to provide everything that is needed for the modern commercial tenant, including the flexibility to customise everything from the design of the kitchen and communal areas to the occupation density of the workplace.

Both of these standout developments are setting the standard for commercial office development within the Thames Valley. Providing occupiers with space that is not only fully customisable to their needs, but also well connected and at a fraction of the cost of the Central London office market.