GMB UnionProjects - Workplace
A highly sustainable solution – remodelling and extending the GMB Union’s regional headquarters in Cardiff
The project involved the comprehensive refurbishment of the existing 80,000 sqft GMB Union headquarters in Cardiff. The original building was opened in 1958 and extended in the 1980s. The design sought to provide the GMB with an environmentally comfortable new regional headquarters that would portray a contemporary, yet timeless, image.
A stone rain screen over-cladding was employed to significantly improve thermal performance, increase depth of reveal for solar protection, and improve the general appearance. The stone provided the opportunity to completely re-fashion the building, as the entire structure could be united together as a single re-proportioned architectural composition to provide an expression of heritage and longevity. This also provided the opportunity to increase the building’s apparent scale from the street, and by bringing the top storey ‘out’ flush with the two storey block below, additional area was added to the plan, as well as depth to the façade.
An external cantilevered glazed corridor provided a way to by-pass the retained first floor debating chamber within the original building to the offices behind thereby adding further compositional interest and character. The construction benefited from having a single sub-contractor to undertake the external stone cladding and the glazing elements together, avoiding co-ordination difficulties and split liabilities.