Location: 11 York Street, Manchester
Size: 11,750 sq.ft
Completed: March 2023
We were tasked to help deliver a new office in Manchester for global commercial real estate company, Avison Young.
Their vision was to create a sustainable office which promotes wellbeing in the workplace, with the project targeting BREEAM Excellent and SKA Gold certifications.
“Manchester has always been a really important city for Avison Young, we’ve got deep roots here so when the opportunity to relocate came up we needed to think carefully about the environment we chose. We had to choose an environment where we created an experience for our people, gave us the platform to fulfil our potential and serve our clients.”
Chris Cheap, Managing Director, UK Regions
The design cleverly combines both informal and formal working space with a range of breakout areas that not only provide a quieter place to work but also a space to relax and down tools. These areas range from smaller meeting rooms, quiet booths, viewing room and collaboration areas as well as a wellbeing and faith room. Over 160 real plants were used in the design and the entrance includes a moss wall and tree as a focal point to bring the outdoors in. The layout encourages people to work together by removing enclosed spaces though these can be found if you need privacy. For more formal needs the new boardroom takes on a town hall layout not unlike a lecture theatre which can hold up to 45 staff members.
“One of our key considerations on this office was creating a space that supports neurodivergent employees. We recognised the benefits of that in terms of staff retention and attraction. We included a lot of planting and greenery throughout the office because it’s shown to have a lot of benefits for staff wellbeing, it reduces stress and increases productivity by up to 15%.
Offices face a new challenge post-pandemic in trying to attract staff back to the office because we’ve all realised how well we can work from home. The ethos behind the design was to create a series of spaces where you can relax, it’s comfortable, you can socially interact with colleagues.
We focused on creating a hub for the office which is the work lounge with the work café in it and you can sit out there to work, you can interact with colleagues, you can relax away from your desk.”
Afton Montgomery, Associate Director, Building Consultancy Avison Young
11 York Street has recently been named the best new build outside of central London & provides Avison Young with a future-ready, engaging & experiential workspace, with sustainability & wellbeing central to its design.
Our work on this project showcases our ability to carry out our client’s vision and even exceed their expectations with Avison Young Associate Director, Fergus Lowry, describing the olive tree we installed as a “highlight” of the project.
“We’ve had some amazing feedback since we moved into the space; people feel engaged, they feel proud and its underpinned our whole return to office strategy in a post-pandemic world.”
Chris Cheap Managing Direct UK Regions, Avison Young
At Benholm Group we’ve got over 30 years of experience helping our corporate clients to use the power of biophilic design to improve their offices.