Unison House is the new headquarters for Unison, the United Kingdom's largest trade union with over 1.3 million members. Centrally located in London, the new development has been built on the corner of Euston Road and Kingsway. Unisons project brief was to create a state of the art, modern campus-style development, whilst providing a landmark building on the prominent corner site. This new development makes Unison House the first purpose-built trade union headquarters to have been erected in the UK for nearly 30 years.
The mixed-use development, designed by Squire & Partners architects, is made up of 4 new towers and the refurbished building of the former Grade II listed Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital. Three of those new towers are interconnected to form not only the office buildings that will house the union’s headquarters, but also TV and radio studios, press rooms, conference facilities, a large council debating chamber, catering facilities and a crèche. The old hospital building, which received planning permission back in February 2008 from Camden Council, was converted into offices and meeting rooms that are still reminiscent of the hospitals former Victorian glory. The fourth new tower is comprised of private and social housing.
Upon entering the headquarters you are greeted by a large atrium which creates an airy link between the new and old buildings. The new main office building, which is visible from Euston Road, is made up of 4,600 square metres of limestone split into columns and spandrels that wrap around the building. In between the limestone columns are double-glazed facades that are set out in a rhythm of different window heights; this adds depth to the elevation of the building.
The construction of Unison House was completed by Bam Construction in May 2011. Upon completion Unison House achieved a score of 73.53% and was awarded a BREEAM rating of Excellent. In part, this is due to the development attaining over 50% carbon reductions above Part L of the Building Regulations and secondly because of the biomass boiler and photovoltaics that were put in place to ensure that 20% of Unison House’s energy is from renewable sources.