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Heritage meets contemporary

  • A spacious, open office scheme for 500 people
  • Glass and brick contrast to tell a story of past and future
  • A welcoming space that brings people together

Make created a space that taps into the long history of the Hungate site while using cutting-edge architectural, design and working practices.

Steve Langan
Managing director, Hiscox UK and Europe

Project Details

Location York, UK
Status Built 2016
Sectors Office, , Interiors
Area 4,700m²/50,600ft²
Client Hiscox

A better, brighter office space in a forgotten part of York’s medieval heart – that was the challenge set for us by insurance firm Hiscox. The Hungate was once a wool market, a place where people came together. We were asked to honour that heritage by creating a contemporary office space that would act as a focal point for the whole neighbourhood.

We started with Hiscox’s culture. It’s an open, welcoming place – a perfect fit for the Hungate’s history. Our design reinforces this sense of openness, maximising light across four spacious floors. A ribbon-like staircase, modelled on York’s undulating city walls, rises up through a triple-height atrium, culminating in a landscaped roof terrace that offers glorious views to York Minster.

The building’s facade is formed of curved glass and a woven brickwork pattern inspired by the 19th-century market. It overlooks a new public area that harmonises with the nearby listed landmarks and provides new pedestrianised routes connecting the Hungate to the
city centre.

We’ve brought the Hungate’s past and future together, its rich heritage inspiring the most contemporary of designs. As a result, a neglected brownfield site is now a contemporary focal point.