Ascent Container Cafe

Member Article

Ascent Farnborough and Hale Architects secure consent for sustainable box cafe development

Ascent Farnborough, the contemporary office community within Farnborough Aerospace Centre, and Hale Architects have officially secured planning consent for an inventive on-site box café. The international business of Federated Hermes has allocated investment for the café facility, which will be housed within a 20ft shipping container at the leading business park.

The box café development has been designed with sustainability and efficiency in mind, sourcing and recycling an existing structure to provide a unique, impermanent solution.

Hale Architects, also credited with the design of the fully refurbished Ascent 1 and 4 buildings, developed the now-approved vision for the unique and inviting café space to enhance the on-site experience for tenants as they return to the working environment.

To drastically reduce waste and energy consumption, components of the box café will be constructed and installed off-site, with the development to be eventually craned onto location at the business park. There are also plans to relocate and repurpose the container at Ascent Farnborough following its use as a café solution, to make use of the structure’s industrial durability and long lifespan.

An accessible amenity to all four of Ascent’s office buildings, the box café will incorporate indoor and outdoor seating, a raised decking area, glazed canopy, and landscaped planters, with high-quality timber and sandstone finishes throughout, and sufficient space for social distancing.

Stephen Ellis, Senior Investment Manager, International Business of Federated Hermes, said: “With a string of new companies signing to join Ascent Farnborough, we are continually investing into the scheme to provide convenient amenities for occupants as they return to the office environment.

“Alongside initiatives such as Ascent’s BREEAM benchmarks and the electric vehicle charging points, sustainability is high on the agenda across the business park and a key priority for this development. This new facility also forms part of Ascent’s many community engagement initiatives, including pop-up stores and wellbeing activities, which are just as important as the office space itself.

“As we progress Ascent’s permanent café fixture, this unique solution will provide space for the connection and engagement which people have sorely missed while working remotely throughout lockdown.”

Sam Walker, Director at Canmoor, said: “As part of our role in directing the premium vision of Ascent Farnborough, we’re pleased to introduce this agile development to the scheme. The box café will bring yet another social dimension to the business park and enhance the welcoming atmosphere - particularly important in the wake of securing a number of credible international firms for extensive office space.”

Paul Hartley, Director at Hale Architects, said: “This innovative project gives us the opportunity to exercise Hale’s solution-based approach and help continue the client’s commitment to sustainable design and the sensitive reuse and repurposing of existing spaces within the park landscape. We feel this small intervention will complement the contemporary additions and fuller refurbishment of the office space and add even more value to Ascent Farnborough.”

Ascent is currently home to the corporate headquarters of international firms such as BAE Systems, Zurich, and Discover Financial Services, and has recently secured new signings with global software company Infor, pensions administrator Trafalgar House and leading supply chain specialist Pelican Procurement Services.

Canmoor has been Federated Hermes’ retained strategic advisor throughout the on-going repositioning of the four buildings located at the 250,000 sq ft Farnborough site.

Cushman & Wakefield and Hollis Hockley act as joint leasing agents for Federated Hermes on behalf of Ascent, with 10,000 sq ft and 30,000 sq ft of office space currently available at Ascent 1 and Ascent 4 respectively.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Harriet Shaw .

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