CAT A, Marketing Suite & Café in a new city


Ashton House

Cat A refurbishment

Ashton House was a flagship property of Milton Keynes architecture in the late 70’s, a Miesian icon in the forward thinking new city.  Fast forward to 2015 and it was languishing and largely empty.  The landlord needed to modernise the space to attract large occupiers and convince local agents, following a history of empty promises from previous owners; requiring a Cat A design and fitout.

The fabric, envelope and services infrastructure were original, tired and a liability, but some elements had to be retained due to the partial occupancy and it being a rolling rather than single phase programme.  This provided a constraint, as did the highly diligent local planning authority, which we continue to liaise with to improve the external amenities and signage.

Office design & build

Bringing light, volume, transparency… and the smell of roast coffee

The recently created new reception transformed the first impressions as you enter this building; however something was lacking.  We put our finger on it, got rid of the original uninspiring marketing suite, and inserted a café in lieu, creating one large open space combined with the reception, building on volume and light.  

Taking an incisive skewer to the building, we introduced a glazed doorway at the back, allowing people to see right through to the lovely green grassy areas at the rear, with the vision to connect with the sister building behind.

Now you’re greeted by the smell of roast coffee and a genuinely nice place to connect with colleagues and co-tenants in this original piece of MK architecture.

It was a challenging project but Woodhouse worked closely with our investment and surveying team to achieve a fantastic end result.

Investment Firm

A taste of what could be

Introducing a marketing suite into one end of a vacant office floor, to show tenants what can be created in this building, whilst avoiding the landlord’s exposure which an entire floor Cat A refurbishment would entail.

The partially exposed concrete waffle slab soffit shouts raw authenticity, whilst bright colours and warm finishes offset this and make for an inviting space.  The unfitted out area of stripped back shell interior remains alongside, including the unlined façade, as a stark juxtaposition of new and old, and a demonstration of the transition achieved.

Project summary

Woodhouse provided a complete turnkey design and build service, improving amenitiesa nd refurbishing it to modern standards with a minimal design theme and in keeping with the building architecture.


Awards and accreditations

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