O’Rourke to build Potteries council offices.

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Laing O’Rourke has won a £32.7m contract to build an office development that is expected to kick-start Stoke-on-Trent’s new Central Business District.

Work is starting on site this week.

Manchester-based Genr8 Developments has been granted planning consent for two major new office buildings, designed by RHWL Architects. Both buildings will be occupied by Stoke City Council. Laing O’Rourke’s contract is for the first of them.

Building A – a total of 106,563 sq ft – will comprise four upper storeys of open plan offices around a central atrium, with shops and a café at street level. Building B – with a further 95,799 sq ft – was granted planning consent earlier this year.

RHWL Architects said that the site’s former use as industrial earthenware works is a key driver for the architecture, which aims to remind people of the city’s industrial heritage. Building A will use two varieties of the local Staffordshire Blue brick while Building B looks to the great local ceramics designers of the past such as Clarice Cliff.

Genr8 Developments was formed in 2007 by former directors of Amec Developments in joint venture with Chelsfield. It was appointed by Stoke-on-Trent council and the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) to develop a new Central Business District for the city centre. GVA is acting as planning advisor. Arup is consulting engineer, Atelierten is Environmental engineer, Planit is landscape architect and Christal is providing contract administration support.