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A cutting-edge Global Technology Centre, designed to develop the sustainable aerospace technology of the future through collaboration and nurturing of new STEM talent.

GKN Aerospace (GKN) are committed to developing the sustainable aerospace technology of the tomorrow – innovating the future of flight.

A key part of this vision is having a UK Global Technology Centre (GTC): a place to house 300 highly-skilled engineers and STEM students, which includes collaborative space for research and development in partnership with universities, the UK’s CATAPULT network and GKN’s UK supply chain. In addition, GKN are focused on increasing diversity, working with schools and colleges to encourage diverse students into engineering.

From an internal perspective, GKN also needed to develop new, more agile ways of working, with a space that allowed flexibility, and increased efficiency.

Interaction delivered above and beyond our expectations. At every stage they constructively challenged our briefs and beliefs, and were proactive, driven and incredibly easy to work with. Interaction led the whole process with commitment, diligence and energy.

GKN

Driven by strategy

Getting to the heart of GKN’s ambition.

This project involved a holistic engagement from workplace strategy through to post-occupation evaluation. 

Interaction were engaged to undertake workplace research and engagement, conducting utilisation studies at four sites, employee surveys, business-wide interviews and working group participation to get to the heart of how GKN function – and how they should function in the future. Initially focussed on GKN’s vision including cultural and financial approach, key goals, and outcomes, we built an action plan with key deliverables and milestones before delivering a granular roadmap, communicating critical details to key stakeholders, highlighting dependencies and risks. Exploratory focus groups provided an interactive forum in which to measure attitudes towards ways of working. 

Our Workplace Strategy Review identified business, team and individual requirements, types of work settings and cultural approach, with specific focus on agility and flexibility. 

From our report and recommendations, we began to develop a design brief to bring GKN’s new vision to life, including a Workplace Technology Package to make the building usable for all.

Our Workplace Technology package ensures the building functions seamlessly, from desk booking to ANPR parking systems.

An expansive environment for learning

A groundbreaking Global Technology Centre

The building is a fitting monument to GKN’s position at the forefront of technology development and collaboration; a vibrant environment where young STEM students collide with engineers from GKN’s 50+ partners. 

On the ground floor, an auditorium capable of holding audiences of 100 back people backs onto a “hack space” which can be used by STEM students and collaborators. 

The second floor is a diverse collaborative space. Breakout desks provide flexible working spaces for GKN’s ecosystem of engineering partners, while a library area provides a space for learning and heads-down work. 

GKN have sole access to the first and third floors, with a List X-ready space on the top floor featuring a Faraday cage which blocks any electromagnetic signals. 

Security and accessibility have been rigorously balanced across the site, with a comprehensive CCTV infrastructure, access control throughout building, an entrance barrier connected to an ANPR system and cutting-edge intruder alarms. 

Our Workplace Technology Package ensured the building’s technology infrastructure was future-facing and flexible. We introduced the GoBright smart office solution and Nureva Span project management software, addressing the desire for more flexible team working. 

Our system integrated Starleaf video conferencing alongside the touchscreen systems, meaning key spaces can be used for collaborative sessions as well as point-to-point and point-to-many video conferencing with the highest quality (alongside an impressive central presentation zone, where 9 screens connect into a single seamless display). Light-up panels on each desk show whether that desk is free, and glow purple if the desk hasn’t yet been cleaned. 

Two huge training rooms with a folding central wall ensure STEM students learn in an expansive, welcoming environment, while a multitude of natural finishes combined with natural light and biophilia to create a warm, welcoming space. A large cycle storage and shower space (with heated lockers) encourages active travel.  

Finally, our Onboarding Handbook provided a comprehensive welcome to anyone using the building, guiding them through all the attributes that make the Global Technology Centre so groundbreaking. 

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