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17 May, 2021 - 17:58 By Tony Quested

Parallax without parallel: Cambridge refurb aims to attract second-steppers

270 Cambridge Science Park has been reimagined for 2021 with a clear emphasis on creating a low-carbon and welcoming multi-occupier office building which references its conception as an innovation centre when it was built in 1989.

The newly-named Parallax Building was acquired by South Cambridgeshire District Council at the start of 2020 with Carter Jonas responsible for the repurposing of the site as part of a portfolio-wide agenda. 

A comprehensive refurbishment of the 38,535 sq ft site is due to conclude in summer 2021 and aims to appeal to multiple tenants who would benefit from working as part of a thriving collective.

Reconfigured floorplates across the two north-south wings have resulted in six separate open-plan Grade A office suites spread over three floors, starting at 3,654 sq ft with the potential to combine as required.

The vision for the building is to house up to six individual, complementary tenants from across the hi-tech and life sciences clusters that have outgrown startup space but do not want the responsibility of full building management. A managed concierge service will keep distractions to a minimum for occupiers and enable high-growth companies to flourish.

Sebastian Denby, Associate at Carter Jonas, says: “The reinvention of this established building has come at a time when both climate change and workplace culture are very much in the spotlight. 

“It’s clear that the way we work continues to evolve and the offering at Parallax strikes a chord with ambitious, energetic companies who put their values at the heart of their operation.”

The design brief, developed by NORR architects and delivered by Overbury, also focused on bringing a sense of community to the building. 

With an eye on clean energy, in support of the Council’s Zero Carbon Strategy to meet climate change goals by 2030, the installation of a solar PV array on the building’s roof will generate electricity on site. In addition, 12 dedicated Electric Vehicle charging bays will form part of the parking provision for up to 125 vehicles.

Substantial investment has been concentrated on the full modernisation of all mechanical and electrical infrastructure throughout the building. A state-of-the-art Mitsubishi HVRF heating and cooling system underpins this approach and offers significant CO2 reduction as well as cost savings on energy consumption. With zero stale air recirculation and optimum fresh air input, COVID-safe working is also supported.

Occupying a prime location on the main arterial route through the Park, Parallax is well placed to benefit from the on-campus amenities and offers convenient access to green spaces. 

Currently there are limited options for companies in need of ‘second-step’ space in Cambridge, and the proposition for Parallax therefore offers a valuable addition to existing real estate.

Jeanette Walker, Director, Cambridge Science Park, says: “The Park caters for research intensive companies at all stages of growth. We look forward to welcoming the tenants of Parallax to our thriving community of innovators and entrepreneurs.”

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