Institution of Engineering & Technology - Michael Faraday House


Institution of Engineering & Technology  (IET) , Michael Faraday House Refurbishment

Pringle Richards Sharratt were commissioned by the IET to complete a full refurbishment design of Michael Faraday House, the ambition being to provide a model workspace, with people at the centre of the design, but achieved within set cost parameters.

The IET have occupied Michael Faraday House in Stevenage since 1989 employing at present circa 450 staff. The building’s infrastructure and building services were at the end of their useful life and upgrade works were required. This prompted the IET to carry out a strategic assessment of their accommodation requirements. Over 20 months several options were explored and a way forward, based on a scaled down project, was agreed.

The proposals for the refurbishment of Michael Faraday House were aimed at providing a new and stimulating workplace environment served by current day technologies that supported and facilitated a move toward more agile ways of working and a paperless office that together enabled a more efficient and effective use of the site as a whole. A full refurbishment design was progressed which included a number of ‘transformational’ interventions including the introduction of a high-level atrium roof, hanging staircase and relocation of the staff restaurant to the ground floor.

The refurbishment achieved:

Enclosing the courtyard which created a usable atrium space that provided:

  • An attractive and uplifting sense of arrival, place and identity.

  • A heart around which life of the building revolves - a village green, where people meet.

  • Extension of the menu of spaces and provision of an alternative workplace environment for staff and visitors.

  • A flexible multifunctional space for staff cafe, informal meetings, town hall, events, interactive exhibitions.

Covering the courtyard was an opportunity that generated a unique type of space for collaboration, interaction and events. It turned an unused space into a lively environment acting as a flexible breakout point and as the heart of the building.

The new Ground floor arrangement introduced a sense of a journey by arriving at reception and welcoming staff and visitors in the new open plan atrium space. From there spaces such as the Wellbeing multipurpose room - used for events such as yoga classes, and the staff cafe & restaurant are easily accessed, and visible from the point of arriving at reception. Also the new staircase provided quick and direct access to the refresh & collaboration hub on First Floor from where staff could reach their workspace.

The refurbishment of Michael Faraday House was carried out in phases, with the building remaining occupied and without a major decant away from the site.