Weiss Architecture Studio

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RFU Headquarters

The Project

In 2007, Chapman Architects commenced work on the creation of the new RFU headquarters, with responsibility for the whole project from inception to completion in 2009. The 3000sqm of office space was to be housed in the recently completed South Stand.

The Brief

The brief given was to create office accommodation for all the RFU departments that had previously been located in Rugby House and the adjacent Portakabins, in a new contemporary open plan environment that would encourage interaction between the 300 staff and bring a dynamic new environment and identity to the RFU.

The Chapman Architects scheme was designed to create a well-lit, functional and vibrant office environment. Key design features include:

  • The location of the open plan office so the majority benefit from views and good daylight
  • The rational and clear location of circulation routes to enable easy communication between departments
  • The central location of the CEO’s office and Boardroom
  • The creation of an artificially lit central ‘breakout’ space in the deepest plan area
  • The grouping together of the cellular offices to form a frame to the open plan
  • The transparency and openness of the entrance to provide an inviting approach to the office and allow natural daylight to penetrate deep into the reception

One of the key challenges with this project was the collation of a cohesive brief from a large number of departments that had been accustomed to acting independently from one another.

From a design perspective, the main challenge arose from the depth of plan of the building with an average distance of some 38 metres from the glazed south-facing façade. The Chapman Architects scheme maximizes the daylight into the open plan area for the benefit of the majority of the staff. The cellular office fronts are glazed to let in daylight and maintain visual contact between staff and managers and a back-lit fabric ceiling to the central breakout space creates the impression of natural daylight.

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