BCO Nextgen reveals winning vision for ‘the office of 2035’

On the evening of Wednesday 15th November, the British Council for Offices (BCO) announced the winner of its NextGen ideas competition for young professionals at an awards dinner in central London.

The winning team – known as 88mph – was made up of: Annabel Koeck – Project Architect, Grimshaw; Jennifer Barnes – Curator and Project Manager, Futurecity; Laura Hannigan – Engineer, Associate, AKTII; and Amelia Maxwell – Finance and Commercial Manager, Lendlease.

Responding to a brief which asked competitors to consider ‘the office of 2035: what will it look like, and how will it support the way we will work?’, 88mph’s concept – ‘The Dynamo’ – reimagines a typical Victorian terrace in London as the headquarters for a major energy company.

The concept preserves the existing façades while incorporating reconfigurable interior space and a rooftop garden with staff allotments, a performance space and a meditation garden. The back of the building is conceived as an ‘energy backpack’ with accessible services.

The design envisages a future with increased transport connectivity throughout the UK resulting in a decentralised workforce. 88mph’s flexible concept allows the business to maintain a visible ‘front door’ in the capital while enabling and enhancing remote and freelance working.

Ken Shuttleworth, Founding Director of Make Architects, BCO President and competition jury member, said:

‘I am delighted to announce that Annabel Koeck, Jennifer Barnes, Laura Hannigan and Amelia Maxwell have won the BCO NextGen ideas competition.

‘Their inventive scheme captivated the judges. It goes beyond the analysis and presents an exciting vision of business, workspace, connectivity and technology in 2035. They are ‘ones to watch’ in the future.

‘On behalf of the BCO I would like to congratulate them all.’

 This free-to-enter ideas competition attracted an enthusiastic response from multidisciplinary teams of young architects, designers, engineers, developers, agents and other professionals and consultants. Three finalists and the ultimate winner of the competition were selected by a judging panel composed of:

  • Cristiano Testi (Chair), Director & LLP Member at tp bennett; Chairman of BCO NextGen London Committee; Fellow of the RSA
  • John Forrester, Chief Executive, EMEA, Cushman & Wakefield
  • David Hamilton, Director of Projects, Malcolm Reading Consultants
  • Ben Johnson, Director, Workplace Resources EMEA, IHS Markit
  • Shannon Pope-Ellis, Store Planning & Design Director, Estée Lauder Companies
  • Ken Shuttleworth, Founding Director, Make Architects; BCO President

The BCO was advised throughout the competition by Malcolm Reading Consultants.

Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the BCO, said:

‘Our NextGen ideas competition has been a refreshing demonstration of the young talent and enterprise within our profession. The challenge of envisaging the office of 2035 clearly caught the imagination of this emerging cohort: they responded with enthusiasm and displayed abundant energy, commitment and promise. We thank them all.’

The winning team will receive an invitation to attend the 2018 BCO Conference in Berlin and the two runners-up will each receive an invitation to a private dinner hosted by two key industry figures.

Annabel Koeck, Project Architect at Grimshaw and Team Leader of 88mph, said:

‘We are thrilled to win the BCO NextGen ideas competition. The brief – to imagine our environment and technology in the future and how organisations and workspaces will respond – was an irresistible challenge, and we’d like to thank the BCO for this wonderful opportunity.’