The Heart Building – Welwyn Garden City

An innovative wellbeing, collaboration and quality assessment centre

Project: The Heart Building

Company: Fairhurst

Sector: Commercial

Technology: Glulam


The Heart Building is an innovative wellbeing, collaboration and quality assessment centre designed by LOM architecture and design for Tesco and is located at the centre its head office campus in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. The scheme has created a people-focused working environment fostering interaction, collaboration, and creativity while promoting Tesco’s values, products. 

The Heart Building provides flexible spaces where staff can interact with customers and suppliers to develop and showcase new food products, technologies and trends.

At ground floor level, the building accommodates the Tesco Food Academy – a series of kitchen spaces where new products are developed and tested. At first floor level, the project incorporates the Tesco Academy, a facility hosting learning and training facilities for staff, a 500 person event space and a staff gym. The fit-out has created an inspirational facility for staff to share, learn, work and connect with each other within the heart of the Tesco campus.

By following the Garden City ethos of ‘a town designed for healthy living’, The Heart Building is carefully integrated within its context, with new tree-lined pathways extending through the central atrium and out across the wider campus.

The open nature of the building, with its large central atrium and unobstructed views throughout, make it an inclusive and inviting prospect for staff and visitors.

The opening up of the traditionally secretive development kitchens is representative of the new bold inclusive approach Tesco have towards the business, their customers and the wider local community.

The building features a bold and durable choice of materials and finishes. Timber has played a key role in dictating its aesthetic environment internally and externally. The large glulam beams, soffit to the roof structure and timber cladding afford the building and spaces a warm, comfortable appearance and complement the other materials: exposed concrete and translucent external cladding.

The glulam structure creates a warm and natural feel which sets the building apart from Tesco’s offices elsewhere on campus. The project has achieved its goal of creating a ‘centre of excellence’ incorporating a unique interior which is engaging for its occupants, helping to improve connectedness, creativity and productivity proving highly successful for both the staff and the Tesco business.

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