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Swinging Cellular


CELLULAR OPERATIONS HQ

Swindon, U.K.

Client Cellular Operations

Architect Richard Hywel Evans Architecture & Design, London

Building Type Corporate headquarters/

call center

Cellular Operations' glass headquarters is designed to entertain its young technologists

Photos by John McLean

When this project began, tech was still hot, and skilled workers were scarce. Cellular Operations Ltd., a British provider of cell-phone services, needed to get on the map--fast. An iconic building seemed one way of accomplishing this. The company erected in Swindon a three-story glass structure where even mundane activities become visual theater. Ride the elevator, and a fountain moves up and down with the transparent cab. In the loo, cell phones are embedded in clear plastic toilet seats. The purpose of the fun is clear: "A key part of motivating workers is creating a great environment," says juror Robert Vanech. "This is a great example of great, cool space." It seems to work: Turnover promptly dropped from 5% a year to 2.7%.


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