Botanic Place development appoints inclusive design consultants Motionspot

December 14, 2023

Investors Railpen and development manager Socius have appointed award winning inclusive design consultancy, Motionspot, to embed inclusive and ergonomic design solutions throughout Botanic Place.  Located on Hills Road in Cambridge, the £500m, 500,000 sq ft development is the most sustainable speculative office scheme outside of London.

Motionspot utilises an evidence-based approach to minimise potential barriers within the built environment to create spaces that are more inclusive, accessible, and equitable. As winners of the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Bespoke Access Award, Motionspot recently worked with RIBA to develop new guidance on inclusion and accessibility, titled the Inclusive Design Overlay.

Set to be unique and first-in-class, Botanic Place is set to create approximately 915 jobs within its estate management team and through occupier companies. The appointment of Motionspot will ensure opportunities are as open as possible for potential future employees and visitors, creating what will be the most sustainable and inclusive workspace in Cambridge.

Richard Van Lente, Senior Property Asset & Development Manager at Railpen, said: “We are committed to developing a space that benefits every member of its surrounding community, and we are delighted to be working alongside Motionspot to ensure that Botanic Place is a truly inclusive environment. Once completed, every section of the new office scheme development, from the offices, gardens, co-working spaces, public market-hall style dining space and beyond, will be truly accessible for all to enjoy.”

Doug Higgins, Development Director at Socius, welcomed the appointment, saying: “We embedded Motionspot within the design team to uphold inclusive design best-practice and raise the bar beyond minimum standards throughout the project. They will help up realise our ambitious goal of providing, not only the most sustainable office buildings of this scale in Cambridge, but also the most inclusive and accessible. One such example is the optional decision to commit to providing a fully compliant Changing Places facility for severely disabled people that can be reserved by any member of the public requiring the use of this facility and easily accessed on the ground floor.”

“The vision for Botanic Place presents an exciting opportunity for Motionspot to identify barriers and opportunities for improvement and help ensure that the development suits the widest range of diverse user needs. Our aim is to promote inclusion and accessibility for all, create an environment that enhances worker wellbeing and productivity, while also driving social value, for example through the provision of amenities that can also be enjoyed by local residents,” said Ed Warner, CEO and Founder of Motionspot.

Botanic Place is adjacent to Cambridge Botanic Gardens on Hills Road and has planning permission for a new 500,000 sq ft workspace scheme, designed by award-winning architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM). The development recently received approval on minor design amendments to enhance sustainability that will ensure it is the greenest office development in the UK, outside of London. Construction on the site is expected to begin in early 2024.

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