Which type of stock is to be chosen, if selecting between a modern building or a prewar structure in such a location? Heritage buildings are premium because they have “instant character to work from and layer up,” says Cat Farrell, associate, Squire & Partners.
But more than the age, it is the layout of the building that is crucial. “As a rule, buildings with a good mix of open plan spaces, flexible floor plates for a mix of office space, outside space, easy access and close proximity to local amenities works best,” says Matthew Blair, managing director of MBS Recruitment and Property.
Nic Pryke, design director of office design firm, Oktra, says that the ability to “cellularise” space is vital when it comes to co-working. Essentially, designers need to branch offices from a central corridor, the success of which depends on the floor plate grid. “If the grid is 2x2m, you can’t quite fit an office between the mullions and you have to make offices which are 4x4m, which is too big,” says Pryke. “Ideally, then, it’s 3x3, or the partitions will run through the services and you will have to move them, which adds extra cost to the project.”
It is important to consider non-lettable space within calculations. Breakout spaces, external areas and downtime facilities need to be included for the development to be competitive.