The main concept for the design is to work with and enhance the incredible rural setting this location provides for the building, and to create a landscape that is relaxing and inspiring for the employees.
A contemporary stone walkway leads to the entrance through a landscape of tall swaying grasses, echoing the natural landscape beyond. Directional paths pre-empt desire lines and create interesting spaces. Stone artwork benches offer places to sit and meet, while creative lighting makes the space feel safe and secure after dark.
Planting beds feature an ‘ornamental meadow’ planting style; swathes of grasses with some flowering perennials as highlights. Layering of spring bulbs completes the seasonal transformations against a dense consistent background of formal evergreen yew hedges.
The Garden Meadow is a name given to part of this site on the 1841 Tithe map. A hoggin path meanders through groves of trees, while mown paths in the long grass meadows offer additional routes for a lunchtime walk. Landscape ‘events’ are situated along the route; a timber platform that can be used as a picnic bench or for an impromptu meeting on a sunny day and stone blocks in the meadow with inspirational quotations on.
An orchard planted on a grid of mown paths in the meadow, lined up on the building’s axis, adds a contemporary edge to a rural feature.
A wetland links up to the existing small pond, filled with filtered surface water from the building and car park, and a wet meadow detention basin is designed to hold any overflow in severe weather.
Ed Reeves, Moneypenny co-founder and director, said: “Since we founded Moneypenny, we have strived to set the industry standard for ‘excellence’. Our new head office once again raises the bar in achieving this and offers employees the ultimate work environment, which in turn provides stunning service to our clients. CW Studio has exceeded our expectations with this project, they have been a joy to work with and have delivered something that we’re truly proud of.”
Top five photographs credit: Tom Biddle Photography
Awards: British Council for Offices (BCO) Awards for North of England
Architects: AEW Architects