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The Hiscox Building
Current
  • All
  • Architecture
  • Interior design
  • Urban design
left Opera Residences right 33 Cavendish Square list Project list
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Heritage meets contemporary

The Hiscox Building

  • Location York, UK
  • Status Built
  • Service Architecture
  • Area 4,700m²/50,600ft²
  • Client Hiscox

A better, brighter office space in a forgotten part of York’s medieval heart – that was the challenge set for us by insurance firm Hiscox. The Hungate was once a wool market, a place where people came together. We were asked to honour that heritage by creating a contemporary office space that would act as a focal point for the whole neighbourhood.

We started with Hiscox’s culture. It’s an open, welcoming place – a perfect fit for the Hungate’s history. Our design reinforces this sense of openness, maximising light across four spacious floors. A ribbon-like staircase, modelled on York’s undulating city walls, rises up through a triple-height atrium, culminating in a landscaped roof terrace that offers glorious views to York Minster.

The building’s facade is formed of curved glass and a woven brickwork pattern inspired by the 19th-century market. It overlooks a new public area that harmonises with the nearby listed landmarks and provides new pedestrianised routes connecting the Hungate to the city centre.

We’ve brought the Hungate’s past and future together, its rich heritage inspiring the most contemporary of designs. As a result, a neglected brownfield site is now a contemporary focal point.

Read MoreRelated
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The building is made from 5,000m3 of concrete – enough to fill two Olympic-sized pools – forming the piled foundations, superstructure, feature staircase, balustrades, escape stairs and brick-faced facade panels.

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The atrium cafeteria and breakout space.
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The staircase was constructed with 'in situ' concrete, with plywood formwork built on site.
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Make created a space that taps into the long history of the Hungate site while using cutting-edge architectural, design and working practices.
Steve Langan
Managing director, Hiscox UK and Europe
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The third floor roof terrace provides access to green space, fresh air, sculpture and excellent views of the Minster to the north.

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Integrating works from the Hiscox art collection into the design was central to the brief. The pieces seek to provoke and inspire, increase productivity, and engender a sense of pride among employees.