Plus X Innovation Hub, U+I Regeneration Project

Breathing new life into Preston Barracks

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Project Overview

Client U+I
Value £14m
Expertise Building
Sector Commercial
Timeline June 2018 - July 2020
Location England - South and Midlands
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Project Summary

Specialist regeneration and property developer, U+I appointed us to deliver a new commercial hub for start-up and SME businesses as part of its Preston Barracks redevelopment in Brighton.

It blends flexible workspaces with a wealth of facilities and support, including media studios, prototype workshops and product labs; integrating innovation programmes, start-up accelerators and access to Plus X business growth services from marketing to team talent experts.

The detail

The seven-storey building, sitting at the heart of Preston Barracks, is 53,000 sqft and can accommodate 550 people. It has a triple-height atrium linked by a series of unfolding bridges and stairs and has been designed and built with the end-user in mind, from the configuration of the building to the materials and finishes.

At its heart is a three-storey co-working space with digital studios and prototyping labs, whilst the more traditional office space is distributed over the four floors above. The building also features Brighton's first rooftop terrace, enhancing biodiversity with edible plants and herbs and social space for the occupiers.

The building is on track to join a handful of international buildings to be accredited Platinum standard by the WELL Being Institute. It features solar panels for green electricity, a rooftop terrace (Brighton's first) enhancing biodiversity with edible plants and herbs, and the installation of an air quality monitoring system for such things as CO2, dust and humidity and adjusted to meet WELL standards.

Richard Upton, Chief Development Officer at U+I said,

"With a range of different state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities, Plus X Brighton has been designed to support companies of all sizes: from entrepreneurs, start-ups to scale-ups and larger corporate occupiers, enabling businesses to grow but stay within the building. Studio Egret West's design, featuring flexible floorplates, bold use of colour and contemporary materials, is as innovative as the occupiers who are moving in.
"As well as providing the support that Britain's new generation of entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale-ups and innovators need to grow and thrive , the Plus X model works to catalyse economic activity within large-scale brownfield developments, creating a magnet that attracts people and businesses into a new area. This is so important as the nation moves forward after the COVID-19 pandemic, as we must now work even harder, and more creatively, to stimulate economic activity. Plus X Brighton will do just that, all the while supporting the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs who are remaking the UK's economy."

Photos by Edward Bishop Photography.

Project Gallery

"We're proud to work with GRAHAM on the first phase of the project. Their commitment to supporting local communities is closely aligned to our own vision to create long lasting benefits for the places we work"

Development Director, U+I