West Offices - City of York Council HQ, York
The conversion, extension and revitalisation of one of York's most important heritage assets to become the new headquarters for City of York Council.
York’s original station building (Grade II* listed), now known as West Offices, has been transformed to create 160,000ft² of modern office accommodation with exceptional environmental performance and demonstrates how historic buildings can be transformed into delightful, functional and efficient places to work.
The design skilfully maximises the potential of the site whilst retaining and incorporating the best features of the original building to create new civic accommodation in the heart of the City.
The central courtyard, or former railway concourse, has been covered with a dramatic vauted roof. New 'free-standing' floors occupy the space below to create flexible open-plan accommodation in response to the project brief and retained elements of the original station complex enclose the perimeter of this new space, conveniently providing stylish cellular accommodation for meeting rooms and other ancillary functions. These retained structures are expressed internally lending considerable colour, texture and character to the internal environment.
A remnant of the original railway canopy was relocated to bring it into the public domain and visually connect the site with its heritage. This significant step unlocked the redevelopment potential of the site by facilitating the introduction of open-plan accommodation, which in turn, resolved the apparently insurmountable circulation challenges presented by the original buildings.
English Heritage have commented that: “With remarkable vision, the developer has created what is in effect a new open-plan structure within the envelope of the existing Grade II * listed building without compromising its integrity” and that the project “...could become an exemplar for the re-use of a major historic building.”