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

Team 88mph wins ideas competition for young professionals by reimagining a typical Victorian terrace as flexible future workspace

2 88mph Elevation
© Grimshaw

The British Council for Offices (BCO) last night [15 November 2017] 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. Please see the Notes to Editors for details of all finalist teams.

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.’

Notes to editors

About the BCO

The British Council for Offices’ (BCO’s) mission is to research, develop and communicate best practice in all aspects of the office sector. It delivers this by providing a forum for the discussion and debate of relevant issues. Its members are all organisations involved in creating, acquiring or occupying office space, whether architects, lawyers, surveyors, financial institutions or public agencies. The BCO works to advance the collective understanding of its members, enabling them to work together to create more effective office space.

About the BCO NextGen competition

BCO NextGen aims to mentor and encourage the next generation of professionals to become future leaders of the British Council for Offices (BCO) whilst providing a platform for new talent to share their ideas. Its role is to challenge, provide, and create ideas from the newest talent in the industry.

As part of a wider evolution of BCO NextGen, an industry-wide competition was launched in May 2017, seeking participation from teams of talented young professionals from all areas of the industry.

Teams had until 6 October 2017 to submit to the competition, the brief for which asked teams to consider ‘the office of 2035: what will it look like, and how will it support the way we will work?’

As part of the competition process, teams were invited to attend ‘hackathons’ and mentoring sessions to receive guidance and feedback from leading figures in the industry.

A total of 34 submissions were received and a judging panel selected three finalists, who were announced publicly on 13 October 2017.

The final results of the competition were announced at the BCO NextGen Awards dinner on Wednesday 15 November 2017. The winning team will receive an invitation to attend the 2018 BCO Conference in Berlin. This will include tickets to all conference events, flights from the UK only, hotel accommodation, and a financial contribution towards transfers and subsistence. The runner-up teams will each receive an invitation to an exclusive private dinner hosted by two key industry figures.

About the winning team

Annabel Koeck (Team Leader) – Project Architect, Grimshaw
Annabel is a Project Architect at Grimshaw with experience working across high-profile design projects. She is a Founding Director of Scale Rule, a community interest company of architects and engineers focused on educational programmes encouraging diversity in the construction industry and community engagement.

Annabel was the team leader of 88mph and lead designer of The Dynamo.

Jennifer Barnes – Curator and Project Manager, Futurecity
Jen is a Curator and Project Manager at Futurecity where she manages a range of public art commissions on behalf of clients in the property sector. Jen is particularly interested in developing cultural strategies which can contribute to our experience of the public realm by embedding culture into new places.

Her experience navigating the ambitions of stakeholders came to the fore during this competition, driving the development of the E-On brief and future workplace vision.

Laura Hannigan – Engineer, Associate, AKTII
Laura is an Associate at AKTII with a panache for breaking complex problems down to simple principles. She combines a natural aptitude with a keen interest in both the profession and academic research which goes beyond the requirements of the job, including being a Founding Director of the community interest company Scale Rule. Laura was passionate about the structure retention and the utilisation of adaptable structure, including variable floor plates to ensure building adaptability and longevity, and her technical insight and problem-solving skills extended beyond engineering principles.

Amelia Maxwell – Finance and Commercial Manager, Lendlease
Amelia is a Finance and Commercial Manager in the Development team at Lendlease with global experience in investment, development and finance across large-scale urban regeneration projects. When she’s not busy participating in cycling and running events, Amelia is involved in the financial analysis of new business opportunities in Italy and London. She used her passion for urban renewal and solutions to urban regeneration within population, economic and environmental constraints to develop an economic viability model for The Dynamo, informing both the final design and proposed partnerships.

About the runner-up teams

Four Future
Chris Campbell – Mechanical Engineer, Norman Disney & Young
Nicola Matthews – Interior Designer, Associate Director, tp bennett
Michael Stanton – Brand Consultant, The Honest Brand
Michelle Wilkie – Interior Designer, Director, tp bennett

Craig Chatley – Senior Associate, Gardiner & Theobald
Maxwell Ikin – Engineer, Cundall
Borja Marcaida – Associate Architect, Sheppard Robson
Tom Place – Structural Engineer, Arup