Midlands talent shines at inaugural next generation awards


Argent Project Director and Cambridge development honoured at British Council for Offices NextGen Awards

Sunil Johal, Project Director at Argent in Birmingham, has been named the Rising Star for the Midlands at the British Council for Offices (BCO) NextGen Awards while 22 Station Road, a city centre development in Cambridge was the recipient of the NextGen Choice Award for Innovative Workplace.

The BCO’s inaugural NextGen Awards come as part of its NextGen program which sets out to mentor and encourage the next generation of professionals to become future leaders in the industry, whilst providing a platform for new talent to share their ideas. The awards dinner on November 22nd, attended by country’s top designers, developers, architects and occupiers under the age of 35, celebrated the achievements and successes of young professionals in the commercial property sector, and their mentors. NextGen members also voted for the office environments and buildings that have inspired them.

As Project Director for the 172,000 sq ft One Chamberlain Square Office Scheme, the first building being delivered at Paradise Birmingham, Sunil Johal is involved in one of the UK’s most important city centre developments and one of the biggest development schemes Birmingham has seen for a generation. He has been praised for prompt and strategic decision making, his ability to work with key stakeholders and his creativity and vision in carrying out the project. Sunil received ten nominations for the Midlands Rising Star award, demonstrating the impact he has had in the region.

The BCO NextGen judges noted that he has received high praise from his entire project team and stakeholders, including key strategic partners from Birmingham City Council. He was most notably commended for his teamwork, partnering and leadership, and his willingness to listen to the opinions and advice of others.

Meanwhile, NextGen members chose 22 Station Road, located in Cambridge, as the winner of the NextGen Choice Award for Innovative Workplace. The development was praised for its flexibility, efficiency, sympathetic architecture and subsequent commercial success. Built on a tight city centre site in a notoriously challenging planning environment, the developer is successfully delivering part of a wider masterplan that will transform the station approach into a stunning boulevard. 22 Station Road recently triumphed at the BCO Regional Awards, winning the Best Commercial Workplace in the Midlands category.

Cristiano Testi, Chairman of the London and South East Next Gen Committee, commented: “The success of 22 Station Road speaks for itself, with over 90% pre let off plan and the remaining half floor let within 4 months of practical completion. Already commended by the BCO Regional judging panel, 22 Station Road has shown that achievements can be made despite historic planning difficulties that may exist. Through innovative and pioneering thinking, the developers have been able to circumnavigate difficulties and create a modern, high quality office building.”

Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the BCO, said: Sunil Johal has received high praise from his entire project team and important stakeholders including key strategic partners from Birmingham City Council. The judges have noted that throughout the delivery of the Paradise Birmingham development he has extended his focus past the office sector, considering the wider impact of the project on the City of Birmingham. His recent promotion to Project Director is a great achievement in itself at such an age, and demonstrates that he is very much deserving of the Rising Star award for the Midlands.”

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