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Willmott Dixon Interiors chosen for DfE’s Sanctuary Buildings HQ refurbishment

Willmott Dixon Interiors is extending its track-record for modernising the offices of key Government departments with a role to refurbish the Grade II listed Sanctuary Buildings in London that is home to the Department for Education (DfE).

Previously the company created a modern new workspace for the Department of Health and Social Care at 39 Victoria Street before then carrying out the large-scale refurbishment of the Old Admiralty Building, which is the new London headquarters of the Department for International Trade.

Now Willmott Dixon’s interiors specialist has been appointed to deliver the phased CAT B fit-out of 12,850m2 across floors of the property in Victoria. The 27-month project will create a more modern, sustainable and streamlined office environment that reflects the Department’s adoption of hybrid working practices. It plays to Interiors’ strengths for creating collaborative and open plan workspaces, hot desking facilities and staff breakout areas, as well as new meeting rooms with state-of-the-art conferencing technology. There’s also a focus on sensory, cognitive, physical or developmental needs, along with improved lighting and a muted colour palette.

Existing plant facilities will be upgraded as part of DfE’s decarbonisation agenda, while the infrastructure will be put in place to support the future use of photovoltaic solar panelling.

Work will be carried out in a live environment, with staff decanted to alternative floors during separate phases of the project. The project is expected to be completed by autumn 2024.

Graham Shaw, managing director at Willmott Dixon Interiors, said: “This will allow the DfE to facilitate hybrid working within its base at Sanctuary Buildings. We’ll be refurbishing the building to modern standards and future proofing its plant facilities to deliver a sustainable workplace environment that promotes wellbeing and inclusivity. It is the second significant project we have been appointed to deliver on behalf of the customer and we’ll be working in close collaboration to ensure everything is completed on time and with minimal disruption to occupant.”

The contract was awarded via the Southern Construction Framework. James Wright, SCF framework manager, said, ‘This is an exciting project to modernise the DfE headquarters, the customer has utilised the SCF to enable an integrated, collaborative approach to this project, allowing a flexible approach to delivery to satisfy their stakeholders requirements.’

The project team includes Arcadis, which is delivering principal design, project management and cost consultancy services.