Vodafone World Headquarters
Michael Fletcher (Fletcher Priest Architects) & Keith Priest (Fletcher Priest Architects)


Michael Fletcher (Left) & Keith Priest (Right)

©Kelvin Jones

KP: My name's Keith Priest and I'm sitting here with Michael Fletcher and we're from Fletcher Priest Architects. To start off, if I outlined how we came to work on the project which we'll spend most of the time talking about - both of us studied at the Architectural Association in London at various times, about five years apart. I was just starting as Mike was just finishing. Mike went on to work with Farrell Grimshaw and he left there to join Wolff Olins. I graduated from the Architectural Association and went straight to Wolff Olins. Wolff Olins was a management design consultancy, structured rather along the lines of Peter Behren's office in that it was multi disciplinary. And there we founded an architectural department and worked with organisations and corporations on their corporate identity, and developed a very, very deep interest in communication and the ramifications of communications as it affects architecture. After about six years we started Fletcher Priest Architects which was round about 1978. About five years ago, with Thomas Bosl, we started Fletcher Priest Bosl in Cologne. At present at Fletcher Priest is well over 40 people operating out of central London and there are about 10 people in Cologne. MF: The project we're going to talk about is the new world headquarters for the Vodafone Air Touch Company. Vodafone is the second largest company and Vodafone Air Touch are the largest mobile phone company in the world at the moment. We were appointed about two years ago and it's at the stage that it's just been awarded planning permission. Vodafone at the moment are based in Newbury in the Thames Valley, about an hour's drive west of London, and they have grown extremely quickly over a very short period of time, to a point where they occupy 54 separate buildings in Newbury, which is actually quite a small market town.


Map Of Newbury

©Fletcher Priest

MF: And the relocation proposals were to take them to a site on the edge of Newbury and to construct a new world headquarters which will consist of seven buildings grouped around a central lake.

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