CLIENT: BAM Construction


HISCOX Northern Office Building, York


A spacious open office scheme for 500 people in the forgotten part of York’s medieval heart. The design reinforces a sense of openness, maximising light across four spacious floors. A ribbon-like staircase modelled on York’s undulating city walls, rises up through a triple height atrium, culminating in a landscaped roof terrace that offers glorious views to York Minster.

The building’s façade is formed of curved glass and a woven brickwork pattern inspired by the 19th Century market. It overlooks a new public area that harmonises with the nearby listed landmarks and provides new pedestrianised routes connecting the Hungate to the city centre.


65 weeks

Contract Value

£3 Million

  • Approximately 4,400m³ of concrete used
  • Approximately 4,700m² floor area
  • 750 tonnes of steel
  • 4200m² of raised flooring
  • 775m² of glass used
  • 420m of steel columns
  • 101m leather handrail
  • Pile Cap Foundations & Ground Beams
  • FRC bases to stair cores, lift shafts and retaining walls
  • Ground Floor slab (suspended)
  • RC columns
  • Suspended upper floor slabs
  • Insitu stairs and landings
  • Internal & External services & drainage
  • Drainage
  • Live connections to existing sewers
  • Hard & Soft Landscaping


The project was of particular archaeological interest due to it’s location and the start was delayed whilst areas were carefully excavated to remove human remains to be archived. A large section of human remains deemed to be too large to remove were left in and the structure was designed to span this area. The falsework for the upper floors was designed to span these areas using spreader beams to transfer the weight outside this area.

The project was a bespoke concrete frame which had to be constructed in a particular sequence to enable the suspended floors to be cured prior to the construction of the internal balustrade walls which support the ‘floating’ staircase. Each pour had its own set of shutters to suit the differing curvature of the wall. The third floor sits 14 metre high above the ground floor level with a 750mm deep suspended slab which is cantilevered to provide the client with a curved glass façade with no concrete columns. The falsework had to be formed around the steel mullions for the glass facade to ensure the tight tolerances for the glass were met.

In particular the spiral staircase constructed between the 2nd and 3rd floors had to be formed with a combination of RMD’s curved trapeze formwork system, and handmade timber shutters for the tighter radius sections.

The majority of the soffits / faces of balustrade walls are left as exposed concrete surfaces. With a particular feature being made of the curving sky light in the café / informal meeting area which has a rocket from the former Soviet arsenal as a spectacular feature.

The Hiscox Building was shortlisted in the 2016 Concrete Society Awards.

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