Folgate Building is a refurbishment and significant extension of an uncharismatic 1980s office building. 85,000 sqft GIA of well-proportioned floorplates are arranged around the existing building’s concrete structure and upgraded cores. The new workspaces measure 30×24 m at their widest, reducing to 19×24 m as the building steps back. Floor-to-ceiling heights complement the big floorplates at 3m. These generous volumes are created by exposing the concrete structure to form soffits that store thermal energy, with displacement ventilation and other services underfloor. External brick and masonry are detailed in a contemporary idiom, complementing the texture of the conservation area, and setbacks relieve the scale and provide four terraces that supplement a picturesque landscaped courtyard in providing attractive outdoor (work) space. As it drops down to the corner on Folgate Street, the building sits comfortably and sensitively in its contrasting contexts.
88% of the existing structure is retained, along with its embodied carbon, which also enables speedier construction. 74% of the scheme’s carbon is already on site; the new construction adds only 26%. As a result, embodied carbon is approximately 94 kgC02e/sqm, well within RIBA 2030 and LETI 2030 targets.