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A new ‘centre of excellence’, designed by rhp has opened in Crawley, West Sussex. The centre, named Cornerstone, is the new business hub and new UK headquarters for Elekta – a leading innovator of equipment and software used to treat people with cancer and brain disorders.
The five-storey building is situated in one of Europe’s largest business estates, the Manor Royal Business District near Gatwick Airport, and houses state-of-the-art office space, meeting rooms, breakout areas, along with a café, restaurant, and customer experience centre.
Cornerstone forms the first phase of a campus masterplan for Elekta’s wider site, with planning approval already secured for a further 4500m2 office accommodation, also designed by rhp.
The building form, open plan office arrangement and connections to the surrounding landscape gardens (green space being at a premium on the Manor Royal Estate) responds perfectly to Elekta’s brief for an enhanced working environment for its staff and a ‘show room’ for its cutting-edge equipment.
The working space is wrapped around a stunning central ‘open’ atrium – the building’s hub - with reception, café, restaurant, display and meeting areas all flowing into the daylit space. The atrium, said to be one of the largest of its kind in South East England, has been sized and configured, with its ‘sitting stairs’ and balcony vantage points, to accommodate all Elekta’s staff for the company’s twice-yearly ‘Town Hall’ events.
At the higher levels, floorplates are connected by bridges providing short cut links. They also offer alternative work and meeting spaces facilitating the chance encounters and exchange of ideas that fuel research and development.
Early feedback suggests that staff are arriving to work earlier with fewer internal emails being exchanged - staff instead finding the space a better environment in which to talk face-to-face.
Comments from Nic Hoar, Lead Architect:
“It was extremely exciting to win the commission to deliver a new building for Elekta. It’s been fantastic to work with a client who recognises the importance of design in achieving a high-quality working environment for its staff. Cornerstone is an important building for us and we look forward to seeing Elekta’s vision for the wider campus develop in the years to come.”
Comments from Steve Wort, Chief Operating Officer, Elekta:
"Our Crawley employees have made a significant contribution to saving countless lives, raising Elekta’s global profile as a leading innovator. We had a vision to make Cornerstone a reflection of that leadership that would serve an international hub celebrating radiotherapy excellence, inspiring healthcare engineering ingenuity, and maintaining the momentum of British innovation. rhp was a true partner in creating a contemporary, sustainable and functional state-of-the-art campus that offers our staff the facilities to develop the next generation of cancer therapy devices. Cornerstone will be a local, regional and global community resource while providing both stability and new opportunities for our staff for many years to come.”