Unilever House is a winner of the British Council for Offices 2008 Award for Recycled/Refurbished Workplace. Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (International) PA, the London studios of the international architecture firm, re-developed and refurbished the 1930's London landmark, a project that has garnered the firm numerous awards for design and sustainability.
The BCO judges said KPF's refurbishment of Unilever House "provides an inspiring and invigorating workplace that can be shared with visitors and the public." KPF's work included re-developing the 1930's structure and a portion of a 1970's extension to the north. Selected portions of the original nine story structure were removed and replaced with modern-day space. The judges were particularly impressed with the project's green credentials, which include a BREEAM "excellent" rating. Overall, carbon emissions were reduced by 25 percent, far greater than regulations require. The developer is Stanhope PLC.
KPF's architectural team on the project was lead by principal Lee Polisano and director John Bushell, with Robert Peebles leading the atrium design. The team included Jeffery Ang, Alan Austen, Jacqueline Bignell, Peck-San Chan, Simon Close, Clara Doty, Jim Dunster, Eva Esteban, Etain Fitzpatrick, Christina Gresser, Robert Hartwig, Greg Hughes, Nicki Johnson, Andrea Jung, Takatomo Kashiwabara, Lydia Kim, Laura King, Wai Sem Lee, Laurey Lucree, Claudia Maggi, Andrew McConnachie, Daniel Moore, Raita Nakajima, Ian Walker, Tim Yu, and Alanna Zie.
"The transformed Unilever House breathes new life into the company's historic home and brings back the original spirit of openness throughout the structure. Within the context of this development we have created the most sustainable solution possible. We are very proud that the project has been recognised with this prestigious award," said Mr. Bushell, KPF director.
Unilever House occupies a prominent site in the City of London, overlooking Blackfriars Bridge and the River Thames. Unilever wanted to be able to remain in the building but had operational requirements for a more modern, flexible workplace than that provided by the building, which also had significant functional deficiencies. Following an extensive consultation process with Unilever, the City of London and English Heritage, KPF developed proposals that achieved a balance between retaining the important parts of the building's historic fabric and providing a transformed work place and spatial experience for the many visitors to the building. The floor plates are reconfigured within a spatially interesting atrium, creating a stronger sense of interconnection. Staff and meeting facilities are located at the top of the building, above which is a roof garden. On the ground floor, a caf