The Probation Service needed a new building to bring together departments housed in unsatisfactory accommodation around Leicester. The brief included workshops, meeting and training rooms, interview rooms and offices for staff.
The building was designed to be as economical as possible, in order to offer realistic rents.
There are two blocks of accommodation, each with bookend stair towers, staggered on plan and connected by a central core of circulation and services.
The concept responds to the site shape, to changing views of the building on the approaches from east and west, and to the principles of environmental design.
Passive principles of thermal storage and night time cooling avoid the need for air conditioning. A plan depth of 12 metres and careful window design result in predicted daylight factors generally above two per cent and effective natural ventilation (predicted using Computational Fluid Dynamic modelling). Predicted energy consumption is 50 per cent of a typical office building and 10 per cent better than current ‘best practice’.