Stephen George + Partners (SGP) is delighted to have handed over Dock 2, a £4million business development workspace facility on Pioneer Park, to Leicester City Council. Working for Brackley Property Development, SGP has designed a three-storey 2,452 m² research and development building with ancillary facilities, car parking and on-site landscaping, which is already over 50% pre-let.
The office and workshop spaces in the Dock 2 development will complement the existing, very successful Dock facility which houses start-up units for small businesses.
Explains Chris Webster, studio director at SGP:
“Dock 2 will provide the next steps for many of the high-tech businesses that started up in Dock. It shares a family likeness in the material palette, finishes and colours and when seen together, they are obviously related.”
SGP’s design creates a strong single volume, similar to that of Dock, while accentuating key features such as stairwells, entrances and communal spaces. The overall scale is larger than Dock, as Dock 2 houses medium to large spaces that can be adapted to various sizes. While the building has a long overall form, the verticality is celebrated through the design of the elevational treatment, and careful window placement delivers natural light to every unit, even after sub-division.
The overall aesthetic of the site is an industrial one, with the dominant material being a built-up cladding system, with a Sinusoidal profile. Staffordshire Blue brickwork to the ground floor, as a base for the building, is a direct nod to the existing Dock and the local architecture typology.
“The client emphasised the importance of an active frontage for the development, so, in the ground floor corridor, we combined opaque and clear glazing to maintain tenant privacy whilst delivering the impression of an open frontage.”
There is no traditional main entrance to the building, as visitors will be using the reception in Dock, but SGP’s design uses a deep reveal with flat panel cladding and accent flashings to emphasise the gable end, balancing the two buildings.
“Dock 2 is just the latest part of a bold ambition to establish Leicester as a front-runner for technology and knowledge-based businesses in the UK. Well-designed, flexible workspaces are a key support for that agenda, and we have liaised extensively with Leicester City Council and the wider design team to set out a code of design standards which will shape the design of future buildings and impact the wider Pioneer Park site.”