Project Ultra, City of London

Office refurb project for insurance giant has it covered

An office refurb in central London was completed in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic – proving that ‘new ways of working’ can produce impressive results.

Right in the middle of lockdown, Box Architects secured the contract to redesign and fit-out four floors of Prudential’s iconic 24-storey office building overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral.

The design was immediately influenced by the insurance giant’s desire to have spaces and facilities that would reflect changing working practices in an uncertain future. However, we also faced a challenge to match aesthetics, materials and construction methods with the existing building to ensure the new work areas, offices and conference rooms ‘blended in’… all while respecting lockdown rules and keeping site visits to a safe minimum.

The key to success was frequent engagement. Despite our long-standing relationship with commissioning client CBRE, we increased our use of online presentations and kept Prudential ‘in the loop’ at every stage of the project. We used communication software for regular meetings but, when necessary, our London team was available for safe site visits.

Lockdown rules also meant that fewer people were allowed on site, so the refurb was carried out floor-by-floor, with our design team keeping pace with the demands of the site works.

Ultimately, just like Prudential, we adapted and regrouped, and revised our working practices.

  • Spaces and facilities reflect changing working practices
  • Project completed within strict lockdown rules
  • Communication and client engagement key to project success