Gradon Architecture
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Gradon Architecture expand pioneering research facilities at Tracero's new UK headquarters on Teesside

A North East architecture practice has been appointed to expand the pioneering subsea research facilities on offer at the new flagship headquarters of leading industrial technology company, Tracerco.

Following its design of Tracerco’s new £8.6million Measurement and Technology Centre currently being built at Belasis Hall Business Park in Billingham, Gateshead-based practice Gradon Architecture is now set to modernise the company’s existing 1960s head-office on nearby Coxwold Way.

The award-winning practice will transform two buildings onsite into extra conference, office and laboratory facilities to further expand Tracerco’s capability to bring to market innovative technologies for the world’s oil and gas industry.

Graham McDarby, design director at Gradon Architecture, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Tracerco once again to help bring its existing building stock in line with our contemporary design of its new flagship headquarters.

“Throughout this project, we have worked closely with the team to create a design that would not only reflect Tracerco’s values of innovation and discovery, but also match its ambition for future expansion as a world-leading technology company.

“The modernisation of its current head-office will reflect our design of the new Measurement and Technology Centre, where we have delivered a variety of bespoke spaces that have been sensitively designed to harness cutting-edge technologies such as a state-of-the-art underwater testing tank.”

Tracerco, part of the FTSE 100 Johnson Matthey Plc, currently employs more than 150 people and expects to create a further 50 jobs following the construction of its new UK headquarters.

The project for Tracerco is being supported by the Let’s Grow Fund, a £30 million Regional Growth Fund programme providing grant support for capital investment and R&D projects creating or safeguarding jobs in the North East of England.

Andy Hurst, managing director of Tracerco said: “It was important for Tracerco to have facilities that were both functional as working offices, labs and testing areas, but could also cater for our many customer visits and demonstrations.

“We are delighted with the work Gradon Architecture has done to transform our suite of buildings and create our brand new flagship measurement and testing facility to that brief.”

Currently being built by Clugston Construction, the new Measurement and Technology Centre is due for completion in 2014 and will increase the company’s capacity to develop a range of subsea products and services onsite.

Featuring an open-planned central atrium to generate greater interaction between different divisions of the business, once complete the centre will look to enhance the overall staff and customer experience on offer through its design.

As well as offering unique recreational spaces across the site to help staff relax and keep fit, a series of glass partitions on some of Tracerco’s leading engineering facilities will act like windows for clients and visitors to watch the innovative products and testing equipment being developed.

Steve Waggett, regional manager at Clugston Construction, said: “We are really pleased to be working with Gradon on this project. The team share our passion and enthusiasm for delivering excellence for the client. Graham and the team have gone the extra mile to ensure this.”

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