Government Office Retrofit, County Dublin

This fit-out of a shell and core office in County Dublin accommodates 200 staff within the existing building. The internal layout allows for both cellular and open plan offices, several meeting, training and conference rooms, staff tearooms and canteen and a range of support spaces.

Typical workstation in open plan

The existing fully glazed facades were a key consideration in providing a comfortable working environment for the staff, with a pre-existing condition of overheating via the south aspect facades in particular. The design strategy is driven by this desire to provide a comfortable working environment in terms of thermal comfort, glare control, ventilation and acoustics. The facades were treated with a solar control film externally to reduce the overheating at source, and within each of the south aspect offices a series of vertical timber ‘fins’ are arranged in front of the glazing. These can be rotated to enable staff to adjust and balance the need for solar shading with daylight as the sun moves across the sky through the day. The fins extend to a high level horizontal timber shelf, maintaining the direct light admitted through the high level window. This ‘light shelf’ reflects light up to the soffit, formed with suspended fabric ceiling panels, tilted to reflect light deeper into the space. The white ceilings panels are set against a black background of existing concrete soffit and the new services installations, with acoustic baffles to the circulation and breakout spaces.

This combination of acoustic panels suspended below an exposed concrete soffit allows further thermal and acoustic control/ comfort for the staff. The ventilation system is a combination of existing conditioning supported by heat recovery direct ventilation, with direct control of fresh air supply for staff through high level opening windows.  

The office spaces are composed of birch timber fins to the facades, maple doors, screens and furniture, with carpets and fabric ceiling panels to create a calm acoustic environment. The end of desk storage units, finished in maple, include a high level screen to enclose each desk area acoustically. Sit/ stand desks are integrated to allow for further staff discretion in finding the optimum working environment; to date, the feedback from the staff has been positive as we continue to monitor the seasonal adjustments required.

Open plan office with acoustic ceilings

Adjustable birch fins for glare control

Staff canteen and terrace

Interior circulation

Exterior View, with added solar control film