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Number One Riverside

FaulknerBrowns Architects

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eddshanks, FaulknerBrowns Architects

Project Name

Number One Riverside


Number One Riverside

Smith Street

OL16 1XU

Project Status


Year Completed



1,969,683 sq. meters

Construction Cost



Rochdale Borough Council


  • FaulknerBrowns


  • General Contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine
  • Mechanical Engineer: RPS Group
  • Structural Engineer: Curtins Consulting
  • Landscape Architect: Gillespies
  • Other: Gardiner & Theobald

Certifications and Designations



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Project Description

Number One Riverside is a highly efficient and versatile office building for Rochdale Borough Council that successfully brings together 1,700 staff from a number of diverse sites across the borough. Our proposal responds to the adjacent River Roch, acting as a catalyst for regeneration of the riverside and town centre.

The design solution embodies the concept of an office as a versatile living space. By dividing the program into a variety of zones and areas which are tuned to the specific work processes and requirements, the work spaces deliver a landscape of settings that are segmented and yet fully connected. In 2014, Number One Riverside was awarded the title of ‘Best of the Best’ by the British Council for Offices.


With the staff having worked previously in a disconnected manner across thirty three different buildings, it was important to create a sense of unity in order to develop effective new work environments.

To deliver the client’s aspiration for operational efficiency by bringing together council departments under one roof, our design was required to create a workplace that promoted collaboration and information sharing. To do this we analysed the specific needs of each of the individual departments and developed a model which provided a combination of dedicated spaces and shared spaces, each with strong physical and visual connections.

Our concept is realised as a series of weaving floor plates which create a rich, varied and interconnected internal workplace, capable of accommodating a variety of work settings. The design of the building’s skin delivers strong connections between the workplace and the building’s riverside setting. This arrangement creates connectivity with the community it serves and promotes the principle of social transparency.

The design provides a dynamism and fluidity which is inspiring and optimistic. The building is grand and personal; quiet and loud; private and transparent.

"The building is unreservedly modern with slick, light, and spacious interiors providing attractive views out to the surrounding town."
Judging Panel, Civic Trust Awards 2014.
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