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Business & Economy

Ryder Architecture unveil stylish designs for tech giant HQ

With completion wrapping up, the design team have unveiled the CGI for new £7m campus in Sunderland detailing the building’s stylish and modern interiors.

Finishes, furniture and lighting throughout the new campus reflect the understated grace that is this project’s overriding essence, alongside a mix of modern accents and practical applications – including polished concrete surfaces and bespoke workstations.

The three storey 25,000sqft building on the banks of the River Wear combines the openness and light of a modern collaborative environment using timeless materials – masonry, steel, wood and glass.

Paul Milner, senior architect at Ryder, explained, “From the outset, the client wanted to create a working environment attractive to young professionals, an address with a historic industrial location and a campus hub for the activity that an ever-growing and busy tech firm generates daily.  We’ve designed an environment that encourages harmony with a workplace culture of informality and flexibility.  Agile workspaces within the open plan and airy environment are supported by strategically located private meeting rooms.

“The 15m high atrium provides an uplifting experience upon arrival, and the recessed tombola characters within the feature brick wall backdrop provide a subtle nod to the industrial past when organisations once engraved their name within the building fabric.  The exterior brickwork is also evident internally, echoing the strength of early 20th century commerce, as well as providing a unique linear form which runs throughout the interior design.  To preserve tombola’s family culture, a considerable amount of the ground floor is dedicated to collaborative activities; encouraging movement and connections across the site to promote the campus concept.  The ground floor is the social heart of the building and incorporates the central atrium space dividing the two upper floors, which accommodate open plan office space for approximately 160 members of staff.”

The ground floor will welcome employees and visitors from across the campus and includes:

• A large café / restaurant and theatre kitchen fronting the River Wear, activating the northern edge and maximising views to the port

• A well equipped gym providing active frontage to Low Street, a sense of activity will also be experienced internally

• A central oak feature staircase, with integrated presentation plinth, which will play a key visual and multifunctional role within the building

The Heller up feature staircase has been designed to encourage collaboration between users of the building enabling chance encounters amongst staff, informal meetings and tea breaks as well as providing a unique space for company presentations, guest seminars and social events for employees – such as screening films on the feature 16sqm atrium video wall opposite.

The building also boasts a diverse range of informal training / presentation suites with the latest AV / video conferencing technology.  Ryder worked closely with Ryder Alliance member Ward Robinson in selecting furniture and fittings to reflect the architectural spirit and functionality of the scheme.

The new riverside campus incorporates both old and buildings as well as a new landscaped green area.  The new building is situated adjacent tombola’s current headquarters, the Rose Line Building at Wylam Wharf in Sunderland.  A former bonded warehouse dating from the late 1700s, it is one of only two warehouses surviving in what was formerly a densely occupied commercial quayside area.