Serving 24 million customers, Sky is Europe’s leading direct-to-consumer media and entertainment company. To find a new home for their ‘Believe in Better’ outreach programme and Academy training facilities, the company had decided to redevelop its campus headquarters. With hopes of being more than just a training centre, the building needed to be an inspiring showpiece for Sky’s corporate values and long-term sustainability goals, whilst being flexible in responding to the diverse needs of its users.

Speed was crucial, with completion needed in time for the brand’s 25th anniversary celebrations – only a year away. With the milestone fast approaching, Sky entrusted Arup with the rapid design and delivery of the technically demanding project.

Arup’s architectural approach demonstrates what can be achieved when every relevant discipline contributes towards design parallel. We took the project from inception to site in three months, with completion in just one year. Only with this integrated team of architect, engineer, contractor and client could the Believe in Better Building have been built to such high quality in such a short time.

The careful architectural design resulted in the building exceeding Sky’s targets for operational and embodied carbon reduction, achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ environmental rating, whilst being delivered within the cost of a traditional commercial office building. It has been recognised with awards from World Architecture News and the UK-based Institution of Civil Engineers. It is also the first building in the UK to be designed in accordance with the emerging Wellness certification principles.

Sky Believe in Better
Discover the advantages of using timber in 4-storey offices like Sky’s Believe in Better building.

Architecture with a social conscious

The Believe in Better Building has a clear social idea based around community focus, education and incredible flexibility for Sky’s fast-changing corporate culture. 
Reflecting Sky’s commitment as a carbon-neutral company, the architecture also incorporates extensive environmental innovation. The structure achieves a lot with very few materials, including the use of sustainable wood that makes it the UK’s tallest commercial timber building. 

A dramatic suspended staircase rises through the building to the rooftop, a feature that unifies each of the four storeys from the ground floor and makes the building easy to navigate for visitors. With vast amounts of daylight and space, including fresh and fun interiors, it is designed to be intuitive with partitions sliding to interconnect a shifting landscape of creative spaces. 

The simple, modular design of the building enables Sky to use it in multiple ways, from community outreach and teaching to training and general office use. The outcome is a building that creates, celebrates and expresses organisational and social interactions. A place for people.