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Imagination Technologies

Kings Langley

Situated on the banks of the historic Grand Union Canal, Imagination Technologies’ new headquarters campus is an exemplar of 21st Century workplace design.

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Our scheme for the three-phase masterplan delivered a coherent and revitalised environment, using new canal-side amenity spaces to act as the ‘spine’ of the development. The state-of-the-art office accommodation provides a dynamic working environment for a company at the forefront of technology research — allowing them to attract the best staff and serve the most prestigious clients.

Imagination House was the first phase of the masterplan and anchors the north end of the campus; it is the new Imagination Technologies headquarters and provides flagship office accommodation and corporate social spaces over three floors.

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The main volume of the building is a double-storey extruded metallic form, appearing to float over a single-storey transparent lower-ground floor. The two glazed ends of the building have been sculpted to complement their unique settings, their transparency and aspect allowing a light, open and welcoming working environment.

A new footbridge now connects the ‘island site’ of Concept House with the other phases, crucially now completing the circulation between all three buildings including Phase 3, which completed in 2016. The design of the footbridge, a focal point for the external works, responds to the diverse and contrasting nature of the site and its surroundings.

Phase 2, known as Concept House, continued the development of the masterplan and included  the major re-landscaping of the canal spur running through the site, a legacy of the previous industrial occupation that remains in both the spur itself and the signs for Home Park Mill Link Road, which bounds the site to the south.

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Internally, the level change across the site provided the opportunity to enter on the middle storey and descend through a central atrium space to the level of the canal, where amenity facilities for the entire campus are located. The base of the atrium feeds into the campus cafeteria and associated break-out spaces, providing a strong, vibrant core to the building.

These elements of the design tie back into the wider masterplan, creating a social space for staff to come together, relax and socialise in a place that offers stunning views of the Grand Union Canal. An external seating area also provides soft- and hard-landscaped amenity adjacent to the canal for everyday staff use, as well as a place to entertain clients, hold communal office events and formal staff gatherings.

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The clearest representation of Imagination’s aspirations for the scheme is the feature staircase located within the atrium; it connects the reception area of Imagination House with the busy office space above and the more relaxed interaction in the cafeteria space below. This staircase not only draws together the three distinct areas of the building, but also provides animation to the atrium, further enriching the experience of this central space.

Client: Imagination Technologies | Services: Masterplanning + Architecture | Size: GIA 16,035m2