Orange Call Centre

  • Darlington

  • 1997

  • Contractor Taylor Woodrow

  • Photos: D. Domenicali

The basic idea of Nicholas Grimshaw for this work was to create a building which could transmit energy and serenity both during and out of working hours, for the employees of the ORANGE CALL CENTRE, branch of the Chinese Company Hutchinson Telecom .
For this purpose, Nicholas Grimshaw has combined the technological quality of FOCCHI curtain walling systems with the ancient Chinese art of the Feng Shui, both expressing the fundamental role of the light.
The result is an extremely “fundamental” techonology, but still accurate to the last detail.


  • Panorami® structural glazing

  • Quadra® pressure plate curtain walling

The technology

The Focchi Front Wall C.W. with its horizontal development (length 60 m and height 13 m) provides both strong psychological and visual focal points; this is due to the constant modular conformity and the introduction of vast amounts of external light to the interior.
An important element to point out is the coping detail which permits a vertical deflection of +70 – 40 mm in the steel roof structure.

The Gallery Window C.W. functions as an internal partition screen, and has a bespoke profile which will be used as a shelf.


Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners

The practice was founded by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw in 1980, it became a Partnership in 2007 and now operates worldwide with offices in London, New York, Melbourne, Sydney and Doha employing 325 staff. Their international portfolio covers various sectors, with substantial experience in transport projects, offices and educational facilities, the industrial sector, large-scale arts and leisure schemes and masterplanning. Early industrial projects in the UK set a precedent for the criteria that would inform the practice's design approach: structure, space and skin. The company’s work is characterised by strong conceptual legibility, innovation and a rigorous approach to detailing, all underpinned by the principles of humane, enduring and sustainable design.