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26 Feb 2018

Q&A: Nick Gregory from CPMG talks office space in Nottingham

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This month, we speak to Nick Gregory from CPMG to see what’s working in the world of office space in Nottingham, an East Midlands city on the up

CPMG is an award winning architectural practice based in Nottingham and London that has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. Its recent flagship art and design building – the Vijay Patel Building at De Montfort University – won the prestigious Large Non-Residential Scheme of the Year at Procon Awards Leicester. Another project sees the firm lead a £15m development for the Nottingham-based Rushcliffe arena centre.

We spoke to Nick Gregory, director of CPMG, to find out more about Nottingham and what's to offer in terms of architecture and design in the realms of workplace. 

vijayOpen-aired balconies for collaboration inside the Vijay Patel Building

What are your thoughts on the current state of architecture and design in Nottingham? Do you think it’s booming?

Nottingham is currently benefiting from a lot of regeneration and investment, which presents an exciting opportunity for architects based in the city. Having recently delivered the flagship Discovery Building for Nottingham City Council, as part of the BioCity campus, I’m looking forward to seeing further opportunities in the Eastside Regeneration Zone now that developers have been engaged.

The whole reimagining of the intu Broadmarsh complex, including the demolition of the eyesore multi-storey carpark, will provide a long overdue boost to the southern gateway. The journey from the station into the centre will be far easier due to the closure of Collin Street and be a much more enjoyable experience. What's more is the regeneration process to the south of the railway station is now underway, with various developers making positive moves. This new positivity towards the area is a result of the extended NET infrastructure and improved connectivity both north into the city centre but out to the QMC and university. This area has been a semi industrial hinterland for many years and the planned developments will create a vitality that is currently lacking, and re-engaging the Meadows area with the city will be a positive move.

Further out of the city, the River Trent is a wonderful, largely untapped resource and this will inevitably become a focus in the future. A sensitively developed waterfront can be a major asset and the opportunity on the city side of the river is huge.

Despite wider external influences, the overall picture for Nottingham is largely very positive. It’s great seeing cranes on the skyline and the next few years should see major beneficial changes to some of the most visible parts of the city. We are relishing being part of the process.

Does location affect your business in any way?

CPMG Architects operate UK-wide and have expertise in education, healthcare, offices, advanced manufacturing, air traffic control towers and interiors, so our reputation and portfolio of work helps us to win new work. But being based centrally is ideal for our scope of clients and it has never been a major issue. That said, London-based clients do tend to prefer working with teams with a London address and CPMG has a growing team based in Farringdon dedicated to work in London and the south-east.

Any current and noticeable trends in terms of architecture and design?                                                                                                                   

The use of BIM is becoming more commonplace, particularly on public sector funded projects. The benefits of working in a BIM environment are wide ranging and it is now being utilised across the construction process, with contractors and subcontractors working with the design team on federated and co-ordinated models.

Interiors, design and the environment are becoming more integrated and clients are starting to consider health and wellbeing and how buildings will be used by people, as well as what they look like. There is a definite increase in the workplace strategy approach to brief development and our team now offer this specialist service in addition to more traditional interior design and space planning.

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