The Hive Cafe – Croxley
Croxley Park, on the outskirts of Watford, is home to a thriving community of businesses, ranging from multinationals to small start-ups. Also a vibrant amenities hub, with a wide range of resources, it is set in 75 acres of green parkland.
The existing on-site café was tired and outdated and no longer met the requirements of the park as it continues to grow. Our brief was to create a new café – The Hive – a space that would become a meeting place for the many people on site. It would also need to be twice the size, particularly with new larger commercial buildings in construction nearby.
The now two storey café was positioned centrally and directly in front of the existing lake. Large timber terraces with projecting pergola framing extend from the front of the building to integrate the new outdoor seating area. The building was constructed with an exposed portal steel frame and insulated cladding panels, curtain wall glazing and large aluminium sliding doors. Thermowood timber battens were used to clad the building and tie it in with neighbouring blocks.
The underground services were a huge challenge to build around during the groundworks. The park’s incoming electrical and telecoms networks, which run under the buildings, had to remain live 24/7. Our solution was to carefully instal innovative piled foundations and spanning ground beams around a network of cabling and ductwork. Integral energy efficient Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) were installed behind louvres on the first floor. These help to heat and cool the building with mechanical ventilation Air Handling Units (AHUs) making it as energy efficient as possible.
Sustainability was a key element of this project and there is now a zero waste to landfill and 100% waste recycling policy in place. There is also an on-site recycling and waste disposal centre which separates cardboard for bailing. Additional parking for 26 cycles and EV charging were added around the site. Bee hives provide honey for the cafe.
With views across the lake and a lively, contemporary feel, The Hive successfully balances commercial objectives with a modern aesthetic and strong sustainability ambitions.
Croxley Park’s owners are delighted to launch The Hive. More is expected of today’s workplaces than ever before, and the best businesses expect them to contribute to better employee wellbeing. The Hive will continue to ensure that Croxley Park does this and is an exceptional place to work and can compete as a modern, best in class business park – not only in the UK but internationally too.Rob Madden, Head of UK Offices, CBRE