Working practices at HM Treasury and the Government Offices Great George Street were hampered by their outdated cellular offices, designed for the hierarchical Edwardian era.
The creation of a light, airy, open plan environment drew these organisations into the 21st century, fostering effective staff communication and collaborative working while projecting a welcoming and professional image.
The transformation of such high-profile public offices had to address the concerns of both planning and heritage bodies while facilitating this comprehensive change in working culture and conditions. Furthermore, the work had to take place while the Treasury continued to operate in the building.
As well as producing new working space, a key aspect of the redevelopment was the restoration of Winston Churchill’s secret underground wartime Cabinet rooms. The size of the existing museum was trebled, opening up parts of the nerve centre of World War II military planning to the public for the first time.
The first phase of the project took place in the western half of the building, producing 340,000 sq ft of space over eight floors and allowing Treasury staff to relocate from the eastern part of the building. The eastern half was then redeveloped to produce a further 400,000 sq ft of space for the newly-formed HM Revenue and Customs.
Eighty per cent of construction waste was recycled or reused and both phases of the project achieved a BREEAM “Excellent” rating.