A dynamic corporate campus in Nottingham for one of the world’s leading banks.
Capital One is a leading global bank which, since its founding in the US in 1988 has enjoyed rapid growth. Its first overseas venture was into the UK in 1996, when it set up home in the former Boots headquarters in Nottingham’s Station Street. Within three years, the bank had 2,000 employees – many of whom were housed in temporary portacabins as the building had long been outgrown. When an adjacent site became available in 1999, Capital One held a competition to find an architect to design an extended ‘campus’ for the bank.
Having won the competition, it was clear to Orms that Capital One did not want a traditional, showy ‘city’ headquarters with large areas of expensive materials. Instead a lower-key approach was needed to echo the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that is encouraged among the bank’s employees. Orms applied this thinking to the new building, not just developing a more pragmatic palette of materials but also encouraging staff interaction by creating a heart space for the organisation between the new-build and existing elements. The clarity of the solution is reflected in the fact that the building was delivered on time in 2002, 15% below budget.
John McRae joined Orms in 1997 and is co-owner of the practice with Oliver Richards.
John has experience working across a broad range of sectors, including workplace, education, residential and healthcare. His focus is on creating architecture that is sensitive to users’ individual and collective needs.
He says, “Over the last ten years I have developed a strong interest in creating environments that contribute to users’ wellbeing, in part through an ongoing relationship with the charity Teenage Cancer Trust. With them, we developed a design blueprint for developments throughout the UK, including The Skypad Cardiff, which has won a number of prestigious awards. This approach has proved just as valid in workplace projects such as No 1 Cornhill, Capital One and MediaCom, and on our more recent Wigmore Street, Windmill Street and Chancery Lane schemes in central London. It has also translated into our education work, such as the new science building we are developing at Uppingham School.”
John is a member of the British Council for Offices and has contributed to a number of conferences including: Ecobuild, RIBA’s good design it all adds up, Future Health & Care Expo, Future of Sustainability webinar, and BEST. He writes a fortnightly blog for Building Design magazine and in 2012 instigated the practice’s THiNK initiative, which seeks to gain greater insight into the issues faced by the architectural profession.
- Capital One
- Capital One
Most spectacular interior in Nottingham