The creation of offices for the fast-growing TMT sector is becoming more akin to product design, with occupiers more interested in ‘cool’ locations and buildings as differentiators with which to attract the best staff.
The view emerged at a special think tank session organised by the NLA in conjunction with BuckleyGrayYeoman at Soho House this week, at which discussions also revolved around the soon-to-be updated BCO guide.
Invited guests – under the Chatham House Rule – investigated trends in the design, size, locations and densities of Tech facilities, noting a shortage of available buildings in the sector, and asserting the belief that there is no longer a search for work/life balance – they are now ‘completely interlinked’. Some felt that the TMT sector clients were mostly after authenticity, character and ‘cool and clever moves’, but it was also thought that the tenant profile was being talked about more than the BCO guide specifications. Nevertheless, the boundaries presented in the guide were useful as something to push, while some developers present warned against over-specifying their buildings. One of the most important facets to remember which could guard against obsolescence in this sector, most agreed, was flexibility.
The BCO guide itself - which will be launched at the BCO conference next year, will also have flexibility as a watchword, with the publication set to be online and regularly updated.
David Taylor, Editor, New London Quarterly