Listed Office Refurbishment and Social Distancing

Jackson O’Connor recently undertook the Architectural Design and Project Management for the refurbishment of Troup Bywaters + Anders (TB+A) London head office. 

In 2019 we were approached by the building services engineering Partnership to set about planning a complete refurbishment of their HQ. The brief was clear, to have their people’s wellbeing and sustainability of the built environment at heart. They wanted to increase collaborative working spaces, upgrade their client facing areas and achieve the highest possible BREEAM rating, all with the aim of promoting positive health and wellbeing across their workplace. In early 2020, world events took over and with it a need for our client to review their project priorities without compromising their vision. We adapted our design to address their changing working practices and to be compliant with Government regulations and social distancing measures so that we could deliver a sustainable solution that meets their current and future needs.


In collaboration with TB+A our plans evolved to introduce a flexible working environment. The resulting office space addresses the need for blended working practices to accommodate 50% of the team in the office for increased collaboration and training purposes with flexibility for rotation, working remotely and future growth.

Managing Partner Peter Anderson says “It’s a fantastic transformation, respecting the heritage of the double-height listed building and provides an environment for our people to work together collaboratively even during these challenging times. The whole concept is around our people feeling safe at work. We have a paperless, clean desk approach and have introduced touch free technology, personal storage and automatic dispensing hand sanitiser stations into the revised design”.

Working to sympathetically refurbish the grade II listed mid 19th century former Royal Mail sorting office, JOA sought to deliver a crisp, clean and contemporary work space in line with current requirements.  A one-way system guides people around the office via a cantilevered walkway and spiral staircases, innovative suspended lighting fixtures work in harmony with the high ceilings and long sash windows.  Original wrought iron features and timber panelling have been carefully restored to perfectly marry the old and new features in a very simple, pared-back colour palette.

Peter Anderson adds “Having worked over the years with Jane on two significant projects I knew our particular brief would be understood and reflected in the interior design proposals. The listed building presents many opportunities and Jane really emphasised and respected the architectural splendour through sympathetic design whilst integrating technology and engineering systems. Jane’s creative and practical approach shone through as we had to adapt the plans in response to the pandemic. Thanks for all of your efforts for what has been a very successful and enjoyable project.”

Jane O’Connor of JOA says “We are really proud of the results.  We were flexible, listened to our client and delivered what they need at this moment: a workplace that supports the wellbeing of its staff.”

Together JOA and TB+A have created a fresh, light and uplifting space that reflects the culture of their Partnership.  The refurbishment has been undertaken in line with BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating, a certification achieved by less than 1% of buildings which embodies their principles of having wellbeing and sustainability at heart.