Skanska UK’s Head Office, Hertfordshire home in green belt, Contemporary English semi-detached property photos

Skanska UK’s Head Office in Hertfordshire

6 July 2023

Location: 1 Hercules Way, in Leavesden Park, Hertfordshire, England, UK

Design: JRA

Skanska UK Head Office, Hertfordshire

Photos by Peter Cook

Skanska UK’s Head Office, England

JRA has completed the new Skanska UK’s Head Office, 1 Hercules Way, in Leavesden Park, Hertfordshire.
Skanska UK appointed JRA as a long-term design and architecture partner to develop the workplace strategy and interior design of the four-storey, 6,000m2 head office in 2021.

Skanska UK Head Office, Hertfordshire

Acknowledging how working patterns and office cultures have been impacted by the pandemic, JRA’s design focused on producing both a sustainable and futureproofed central office with hybrid working / hotdesking models integrated throughout, including multiple collaboration and agile working spaces. This approach:
• Enables employees to communicate within project and client teams as effectively as possible
• Supports Skanska in becoming a customer-centric business
• Uses embedded technology that allow for more‐efficient hybrid working models
• Puts digital productivity at the heart of its design
• Incorporates extensive biophilic elements which align with Skanska’s strong sustainability focus
• Aligns, overall, with Skanska’s position as a low carbon leader

Working in collaboration with representatives from across Skanska, JRA’s design has resulted in the creation of a range of different ‘homezones’ or ‘neighbourhoods’ across the building which are engineered to meet the needs of each team. These zones are supplemented by a rich mix of agile and collaborative spaces including around 50 meeting rooms, collaboration centres, and training areas. The integration of these spaces supports Skanska’s open and transparent working culture, encouraging employees to come together to share ideas and learning. The incorporation of a mixture of formal and informal spaces have helped to give the building a sense of community and a clear identity. To support employee wellbeing – and to mirror some of the attractions of remote-working – JRA has integrated breakout areas, wellbeing rooms, and quiet spaces across the building.

Skanska UK Head Office, Hertfordshire

As a leader in sustainable construction, Skanska required an office space that offered significant carbon reductions by optimising the reuse and recycling of materials as well as use of low carbon products. 80% of the floor finishes are reused, as well as 30% of the furniture, while the new furniture uses recycled materials wherever possible. The materials palette evokes Skanska’s brand focus on the use of natural and sustainable materials. Natural oak has been used throughout the building’s four floors of workspace. This is incorporated in a range of approaches including wall decorations, space partitions, and various wooden design elements including oak storage cabinets, welcoming tea-points, and meeting islands.

Skanska UK Head Office, Hertfordshire England

A key focal point for capturing Skanska’s philosophy of responsible construction is the new reception desk, which pairs oak with ultra-high performing 100% cement-free concrete. Evoking both sustainability and engineering, the desk pattern is a reference to the design developed for concrete structures by Pier Luigi Nervi in 1958, where structural optimisation was inspired by the leaves of the waterlily, Victoria Cruziana.

The reception is linked to the ground floor plate through a sequence of arches, conceived as reference to one of the biggest revolutions in the history of engineering, the introduction of arches, which enabled the building of bridges and aqueducts, covering spans never achieved before and still standing today. 3D backlit branding shapes complete the space, while curated furniture pieces showcase the best of Scandinavian design.

Skanska UK Head Office, Hertfordshire England

In the interiors, the wooden panels are complemented by green and earthy tones. Running planters, freestanding pots, and isolated tree benches are among the biophilic features which aim to bring elements of nature into the office, accentuated by the significant amount of natural light across the building. The result is an environment that is the embodiment of Skanska’s brand values and its Swedish heritage, working with, rather than against, the existing building.

Festus Moffat, Director of John Robertson Architects, says:
“As a long-term design partner for Skanska, we previously completed 51 Moorgate, its London offices, which embodies the company’s desire for agile workspaces with a clear focus on flexible working and employee wellbeing. Our work on 1 Hercules Way builds upon these aspirations and our understanding of Skanska’s strategic vision.

“As a practice with a strong focus on retrofitting legacy commercial assets, we’re pleased to be able to bring forward this progressive workspace. The resulted is a future-proof design which still maintains much of the existing building fabric, this must be the future of sustainable workplace design.”

Harvey Francis, Skanska UK Executive Vice President and project sponsor says: “Working together with JRA, Leavesden Park has given Skanska UK a smart, sustainable, and inspiring workplace which supports a modern, collaborative, and hybrid way of working. It truly embodies the Skanska brand and our values. The huge range of spaces, meeting rooms, studios and large collaboration hubs also support our focus on inclusion, creativity, learning, and sharing.”

Skanska UK Head Office, Hertfordshire England

Skanska UK’s Head Office in Hertfordshire, England – Building Information

Project Team:
Architect: JRA –
Contracting Client: Skanska UK
Structural Engineer: Skanska in-house team
M&E Consultant / Sustainability Consultant: Elementa Consulting
QS: Skanska in-house team
Lighting Consultant: Elementa Consulting
Branding Consultant: NORD DDB
Acoustic Consultant: RBA Acoustics
Accessibility Consultant: David Bonnett Associates
Fire Consultant: IFC Group
Principal Designer: Sweco
Approved Building Inspector: Sweco
Main Contractor: Skanska Building

Skanska UK Head Office, Hertfordshire England

About John Robertson Architects
Since its formation in 1993, JRA has designed and delivered buildings that have established the firm’s reputation as innovative architects who consistently realise client’s ambitions and resolve complex problems with purpose and flair. Guided by founder John Robertson, the practice is led by Festus Moffat, David Magyar and Smita Bhat, supported by an accomplished team of associate directors. Together, they have wide ranging project experience in the UK, EMEA and international markets, and in masterplanning exercises across conceptual and detailed design stages. The practice’s portfolio spans the office, residential, heritage, education, hotel, compliance monitoring and residential sectors.

JRA is currently undertaking commercial, higher education and residential projects in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, adding significant value through creative, sustainable and thoughtful design. JRA’s recent completed projects include the environmentally outstanding workspace Bloom Clerkenwell for HB Reavis, a historic complex of buildings at Frederick’s Place as part of the Mercers’ Company’s Estate, the prominent repositioning projects Bureau and The Ludgate, the new workplace concept at Cannon Green, and the redevelopment and fit out of Skanska’s headquarters at 51 Moorgate.

Skanska UK Head Office, Hertfordshire England

Photography: Peter Cook

Skanska UK’s Head Office, Hertfordshire, UK Property images / information received from the Royal Institute of British Architects

Location: 1 Hercules Way, in Leavesden Park, Hertfordshire, south east England, United Kingdom

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Photos for the Skanska UK’s Head Office, Hertfordshire, UK building design by John Robertson Architects page welcome