Hiscox has confirmed it’s state-of-the-art offices to be built at York will be the insurance giant’s biggest base outside London. The £19m flagship development could bring as many as 500 new jobs to the city.
The company has also appointed Gateshead-based BAM Construction to build the 50,000sq ft futuristic glass and stone structure. Ground work, on a city centre site at York’s historic Hungate next to the River Foss, is set to get underway before the end of the year.
“Our new Yorkshire headquarters will set the benchmark for Hiscox’s future approach to office design and working practices,” explained Steven Langan, managing director of Hiscox UK, Europe and Asia. “This means it’s incredibly important to us that we work with a building contractor that shares our focus on excellence and attention to detail.”
He said that BAM was recognised as one of the foremost contractors in the UK. It also stood out for setting incredibly high construction standards. “We were also impressed by their enthusiasm for this landmark project from the outset,” Langan added.
“Bam was the obvious choice for us, it has a proven track record of working on prestigious developments and a high regard for health and safety. In addition, all its staff share our vision for the build and have the expertise and experience we need to make it happen.”
Designed by international architects MAKE, the four-story offices will feature a cantilevered concrete frame, structural glass curtain walling and a winding staircase in a full-height atrium. Despite its reputation, MAKE Architects has twice been nominated for Building Design magazine’s Carbuncle Cup, an annual award for “the ugliest building in the United Kingdom”.
John Phillips is a director at BAM Construction: “This is a very exciting project, turning a site of historical interest into a modern facility that complements the wider regeneration plans for this part of the city,” he said.
“With its iconic design and well-constructed layout, the building will be aesthetically pleasing as well as provide a well-equipped, user-friendly working environment,” added Phillips. “We look forward to building on the strong relationship with Hiscox that our facilities management business has developed with them in recent years.”
With its headquarters just 90 miles north BAM has completed several major projects in the city, including Network Rail’s £27m “Engineers’ Triangle” featuring the rail operator’s new Route Operating Centre and Workforce Development Centre. It also built the University of York’s Ron Cooke Hub and its Biosciences Building and the Melrose Stand at York Racecourse.
Hiscox transferred its 70 York staff into a temporary office in Mallard House, also in Hungate, in February. It aims to move into its permanent office in 2015, where it will create an initial 300 jobs, with a further 200 anticipated within five years.
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