First Choice Homes Oldham Headquarters
A flexible new office designed around its staff

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council

Location: Oldham
Value: £5.4 million
Size: 35,000 sqft
Programme: 2012–2014
Service: Architecture & Interior Design

Adrian Lambert

We provided strategic advice to First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) to support the acquisition of a site for their new headquarters. The aim to bring staff from 4 existing premises under one roof. Working in consultation with FCHO, we developed a headline brief for the headquarters to establish the likely overall building space budget, including likely support functions and optimum building layout.

The new facility brings together staff from three existing office locations and a repairs and maintenance depot. It has been designed to create a new, flexible working environment for (FCHO) and creates a welcoming new “one point” customer reception. Corporate colours are incorporated throughout the interior. Two upper floors contain circa 20,000sqft of open plan, flexible working space arranged around a central atrium. A café activates the ground floor of the atrium and creates a focus for staff interaction and informal meetings. The base of the atrium utilises the existing site levels to create a mini amphitheatre that can be utilised for whole business presentations and events. A conference and training facility is located adjacent to the café and amphitheatre – this space also incorporates a business lounge and boardroom for use by wider businesses and FCHO partner organisations.

Externally the building presents itself as two volumes arranged around the central atrium. A transparent and open glazed volume addresses the public front door of Union street whilst an elegant brick volume with well-proportioned punched windows faces Phoenix Street. The combined composition of the two supports FCHO’s image as a modern forward looking and welcoming business to both its staff and customers.


First Floor