Mark’s experience: Rutherford House – Whitehaven, Cumbria

This £3.2m office scheme was an entirely new building on Westlakes Science Park in Whitehaven. Mark Whitfield took the role of project architect, which involved concept design, tender information and construction.



Atkins, the UK’s largest engineering and design consultancy, required a new office building to be designed, built and fitted out.


The structure was to be located at Westlakes Science Park (plot 7A); house 200 staff; and provide 150 car parking spaces.


As project architect, Mark was responsible for the concept design (internal and external), obtaining planning permission, overseeing construction and fit-out of the office environment.

The project included:

  • Design of a two-storey, 22,000 sqft building
  • The ‘feature’ use of Westmorland green slate, a local material from Honnister Slate Mine
  • Cost-effective metal cladding, rendered white, to focus spending on the entrance area
  • Creation of an open-plan office design

The tenant Atkins was very happy with the finished building, which was built in 10 months. It has been valued at £3.2m.

The project received a great deal of press attention throughout construction and eventual opening, being featured in the local News & Star, Place North West and The Construction Index.

It also secured a BREEAM environmental rating of ‘Very Good’ and is compliant with the design standards of the British Council of Offices (BCO).