UK Hydrographic Office showcases new HQ

Written by Jim Dunton on 18 March 2019 in News

Taunton building completes three years after initial design work commenced

UK Hydrographic Office's new headquarters Credit: AHR Architects

The UK Hydrographic Office has showcased its just-completed new Taunton headquarters to defence secretary Gavin Williamson – almost exactly three years after design work on the centre commenced.

Boasting workspaces for 850 staff, the new building has a total floorspace of 11,000 sq m, including a huge central atrium, a gym and a staff restaurant.

Architect AHR said the building had been designed to deliver a “cultural shift” within UKHO’s way of working, prioritising collaborative accommodation that could adapt to future business needs for the marine geospatial information agency.


UKHO project manager Jo Funnell said the design and quality of the bespoke new headquarters was a huge source of pride in the organisation.

“The new environment will support smarter ways of working at the UKHO, using new technology and modern office practices, which is hugely exciting for our business,” she said.

After his tour of the building, defence secretary Gavin Williamson said the UKHO embodied the spirit of a global Britain, and had been “central to trade and commerce across the globe, supplying over 90% of the world’s ships with the products they need to navigate international waters safely”.

He added: “With 95% of the UK’s trade carried by sea, the work done at this facility is vital to not only supporting safety of our ships but supporting the UK’s thriving ocean economy.”

AHR said its design concept for the new building had taken inspiration from the hydrographic office’s work, following the theme of “Seabed to Surface”, with images of strata, contours and water currents influencing the aesthetic design throughout.


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