Greenwich House

Pilot project creates agile working for the University of Cambridge

This pilot project examined ways in which agile working could be adopted in the University of Cambridge's 'Reshaping the Estate' project. The trial space, created for the University's support and administration staff, blends work typologies, allowing individuals to have more control over their working environment. Responding to the post-Covid world of hybrid working, the trial adopts a range of hot desks, sit/stand desks, individual and group pods and open booths, in addition to break-out, meeting and social areas.

Stakeholder engagement informed an understanding of the elements which would encourage staff to return to the office; opportunities to collaborate both formally and informally, as well as socialise, were identified as key to the transition, in addition to a sense of belonging. These conversations also identified a desire to move away from purely desk based work to more user and activity based working.

The project examined multiple interventions across a range of development scales, from a purely furniture based solution, through a full refurbishment including ventilation and acoustics, to a full refit plus extensions to the existing building. A spatial arrangement was developed which allowed for three typologies to be established: Home, Neighbourhood and Hub. The former provides 'owned' space, creating the sense of belonging identified as essential in early conversations, while the Neighbourhoods incorporate influenced space, further strengthening the sense of belonging and creating opportunities for collaboration and socialising. Hubs allow for flexible shared space which provide staff with greater control over their style of working and work environment, while also facilitating improved group working.

Project Team

Client: University of Cambridge

Architect: Burwell Architects

Project Data

Net Internal Area: 4875 sqm

Construction: 2023