Botanic House occupies a key site in Cambridge between the main station and the historic core of the city, with the University Botanic Garden to one side. Formation Architects designed and delivered the 52,280 sqft net commercial office building for a private developer. An important public benefit of the scheme was the relocation of the historic War Memorial to a new dedicated public space in front of the building and adjacent to the University Botanic Garden.
BCO, Commercial Workplace award
The client assembled the site over several years, eventually commissioning Formation Architects to produce a masterplan incorporating commercial offices, apartments and leisure uses. As one of the first of a recent wave of office developments to be built in the centre of Cambridge and the tallest building in the city at the time, the scheme received a great deal of attention from the planners and other stakeholders. Planning permission was granted for 153 apartments, plus the office and various ancillary uses. The seven-storey office element was the first part of the consent to be implemented and provides subdivisible floorplates of 600 m2 (6,460 sqft) a rental space in great demand in Cambridge.
The building was delivered under a Design and Build contract with Formation Architects being novated to the contractor to complete the detailed design for local contactor Morgan Sindall. One of the key elements of the design was the north façade which is the principal elevation of the building facing the new public space. This was designed in conjunction with Felix, the Swiss façade trade contractor and included the innovative use of coloured fritting within silicone-bonded glazed panels.
The building was subsequently let in its entirety to the Cambridge law firm of Mills and Reeve who completed the Cat B fitout. The scheme subsequently received a BCO Award for the best building in the Commercial Workplace category.