Kings Lynn Innovation Centre – New springboard for business and enterprise
Shortlisted in the RICS 2017 awards’ Regeneration category is the multi-million pound King’s Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC), a new landmark building geared to promoting business and enterprise and offering long-awaited state-of-the-art workspace.
Officially opened in 2016, the centre, in West Norfolk, was developed in partnership with New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council. KLIC is the latest innovation hub to be delivered by Norfolk & Waveney Enterprise Services (Nwes).
The centre was constructed by Main contractors RG Carter and designed by Architects Feilden and Mawson.
Philip Bodie, partner at Feilden & Mawson said: “We have had very favourable client feedback on the building. We also had a very good working relationship with Nwes on the contract. It was quite a challenging building to construct – however the main contractor did a good job and we are very proud of the scheme.”
The building has been designed to support the needs of ambitious, innovative businesses looking to grow in the local area.
Tenants and clients benefit from top-specification office space, modern conference suites, and an optimum working environment equipped with the latest technology and practical amenities including shower facilities.
Services delivered by Nwes include high-calibre 1-to-1 business advice, mentoring and workshops. Additionally, Nwes can also provide access to financial sources and funding opportunities, providing the tools for local entrepreneurs and start-up businesses to flourish and further strengthen the local economy.
Located on a 1.5 acre site in the Nar Ouse regeneration area, the building’s dramatic design incorporates four storey and two-storey sections joined by a glazed atrium that combine to create an interesting and invigorating space.
Facilities at the centre are second to none, including a cutting-edge 100-person conference suite with dedicated catering facilities, two high-specification meeting rooms and an executive boardroom; 1,370 sqm of net lettable office space in units ranging from 18sqm – 81sqm, and 75 car parking spaces plus secure cycle storage.
The building also has a sustainable drainage system, managed reception, and multi-functional areas for informal meetings; vending machines with complimentary refreshments in break out areas; a first floor mezzanine break-out area; Nwes on-site management and business support facilities and landscaping in keeping with the local environment.
Constructed on piled foundations, the four storey, steel framed building with three storey atrium features a facade incorporating approximately 60% glazing, with the remaining 40% comprising cladding and windows. The works also included the construction of a new access road and car parking.
The office areas, conference rooms and main entrance, foyer are provided with a variable refrigerated flow heat pump comfort cooling system. Ceiling mounted fan coil units re-circulate the humidity of the space providing a comfort air conditioning system (comfort cooling), utilising ASHP technology.
Philip Bodie said: “We have carried out many innovation centre projects over the years. I think it is particularly important that the interiors should be welcoming and inspiring to give tenants a sense of pride.
“Nwes previously took over existing buildings to create innovation centres and the new King’s Lynn centre is the first one that they have had purpose-built. We won the commission to design the building in competition and were very excited about it.
“On visiting the site I realised that the A47, which lies to the south is elevated above the site and this provided an opportunity for the building to be eye-catching, although the view was somewhat restricted by trees. The only way to make the building to stand out was to give it some height – hence we have four storeys on the south elevation facing the A47, with a two storey element to the north of that block, separated by a two storey atrium. The atrium has a glazed entrance door which allows views right through.”
“Internally, the building is very light and airy and has a very contemporary feel, with access to the views outside everywhere. This includes the corridors where we have put slots down one side of the floor adjacent to the wall, allowing views of the floor below.”
“This was a very important project to me personally, and for the company too.”
Signs Express (Norwich) specialise in digital printing, sign manufacture, installation, design, vehicle graphics, architectural signage, illuminated signs, metal fabrication, monoliths and every aspect of signage & displays.
Working on the King’s Lynn Innovation Centre, Signs Express (Norwich) produced the 3m high, internally illuminated stainless steel ‘KLIC’ text for the side of the building, as well as the 3m high monolith at the entrance to the site.
Ken Venables, Signs Express (Norwich) said: “Our liaison with every customer and project is important and in this case it is simply to be involved with local businesses, architects, developers and construction companies on a varied and interesting project such as this – especially when you see the stunning end result.”