1Y 4M

Project description

This major civic development for Wakefield Metropolitan District Council forms part of the development masterplan for the Wakefield Merchant Gate area. The scheme was developed by English Cities Fund, a joint venture partnership between Muse Developments, Legal & General and the Homes & Communities Agency.

The five-storey building includes high quality open plan office space with a central atrium and public library as well as a museum and café.

The building has been constructed using an exposed in-situ concrete frame providing a high quality finished feature within the building. The exposed concrete frame acts as a heat sink, thereby reducing the building’s energy demands. The building’s contemporary façade complements the adjacent Grade I listed county hall through the use of a three stone coloured terracotta rain screen cladding system, glazing, aluminium curtain walling, aluminium soffits and fascia.

Each floor of the building has been designed to facilitate flexible fit out including cellurisation by the occupier. In addition, each floor can be sublet to different tenants if required.

Responsible business



Sustainability was an integral element of the building’s design through structural, environmental and architectural elements. This contributed to providing a low energy BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated solution that produces 30 per cent less carbon than a conventionally-cooled office.


The building was delivered at a cost of just £1,032/m2, a significant reduction on recent comparable Council civic office buildings. This was achieved through the use of pre-fabricated and modular construction, standardised design and materials and economic specifications whilst achieving the overall quality of finish required by the end user. The new Civic Offices building, which accommodates 1,200 staff, is helping Wakefield Metropolitan District Council reduce its overall running costs by £1 million per year.


The building sits on a confined, four-sided city centre site, which required effective logistics planning to ensure minimal disruption. Lean construction techniques such as collaborative planning, forward planning and action planning were used on site, allowing information flow to be effective and efficient, ensuring the works scheduled was maintained.


Muse Developments


Design Awards 2013 'Best New Build'

Joint winner: British Council for Offices Regional Award - Corporate Workplace - North of England - 2012