Number One Riverside

Number One Riverside is a highly efficient and versatile office building for Rochdale Borough Council that successfully brings together 1,700 staff from a number of diverse sites across the borough. Our proposal responds to the adjacent River Roch, acting as a catalyst for regeneration of the riverside and town centre. 

The design solution embodies the concept of an office as a versatile living space. By dividing the program into a variety of zones and areas which are tuned to the specific work processes and requirements, the work spaces deliver a landscape of settings that are segmented and yet fully connected. In 2014, Number One Riverside was awarded the title of ‘Best of the Best’ by the British Council for Offices.

Civic Offices and Library

Rochdale, England



Rochdale Borough Council

March 2011 – December 2012

March 2013

The building is unreservedly modern with slick, light, and spacious interiors providing attractive views out to the surrounding town.

Judging Panel
Civic Trust Awards 2014

Collaboration and connectivity

With the staff having worked previously in a disconnected manner across thirty three different buildings, it was important to create a sense of unity in order to develop effective new work environments.

To deliver the client’s aspiration for operational efficiency by bringing together council departments under one roof, our design was required to create a workplace that promoted collaboration and information sharing. To do this we analysed the specific needs of each of the individual departments and developed a model which provided a combination of dedicated spaces and shared spaces, each with strong physical and visual connections.

Number One Riverside Rochdale Office Floorplate Model Option 1 S
Number One Riverside Rochdale Office Floorplate Model Option 4 S
Number One Riverside Rochdale Office Floorplate Model Option 3 S
Number One Riverside Rochdale Office Level 4 Floor Plan L

Our concept is realised as a series of weaving floor plates which create a rich, varied and interconnected internal workplace, capable of accommodating a variety of work settings. The design of the building’s skin delivers strong connections between the workplace and the building’s riverside setting. This arrangement creates connectivity with the community it serves and promotes the principle of social transparency.

The design provides a dynamism and fluidity which is inspiring and optimistic. The building is grand and personal; quiet and loud; private and transparent.

A hard working office

FaulknerBrowns Architects created a design solution that has certainly succeeded in meeting Rochdale Council’s exacting brief for a great looking and energy efficient building that would create an excellent working environment.

Stephen Pressman
Rochdale Development Agency


  • British Council for Offices
    Best of the Best - Best Workplace in the UK Winner 2014
  • British Council for Offices
    National Corporate Workplace of the Year Winner 2014
  • British Council for Offices
    Regional Corporate Workplace of the Year Winner 2014
  • RIBA North West
    Regional Award 2014
  • Civic Trust
    Commendation 2014
  • RICS North West
    Building Through Innovation Winner 2014
  • Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
    Building of the Year Winner 2013
  • Mixology Interior Design Awards
    Public Sector Project of the Year 2013
  • Concrete Society
    Building of the Year 2013