Our client needed a new plant to accommodate increased output and despatch facilities, making better use of their rail connection, so that new output levels didn't increase road traffic in the surrounding Peak District. This development also had to be future-proof, flexible and as the new Lafarge UK HQ, a flagship for the firm and its product.
Lots of planning went into supporting the increased production levels and the need for a 50% growth in product transported by rail. We also need to demolish the existing plant with minimum interruption to production.
Early on we decided that the new headquarters should be a real talking point for Lafarge, so we proposed a building that, as far as was possible, used their product. Now, everything that can uses the Lafarge product - even the reception desk - a polished, green-dyed concrete work of art and a demonstration of the possibilities with new concrete technology. All floors and walls are made entirely from concrete.
The control room is positioned at the centre of the building, as a ‘hub'. Visible from much of the site, it gives the feel of constant industry and movement.
The project is a marriage of form and function, one of the most important considerations being the impact on the surrounding Peaks, which we worked hard to minimise.