M Moser Gives Lidl a New UK Workspace to Support Growth

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Emma Weckerling
Emma Weckerling
Emma is the Managing Editor of Work Design Magazine.

M Moser Associates helped Lidl consolidate its people and real estate in a new 250,000 sqft UK workspace. 

Project Overview:

  • Design Firm: M Moser Associates
  • Client: Lidl
  • Completion Date: 2022
  • Location: Tolworth, UK
  • Size: 250,000 sqft
  • Population: 800+

Lidl GB is one of the country’s leading food retailers, employing over 29,500 people in Great Britain. In 2015, Lidl appointed M Moser to help decide whether to repurpose its existing office or relocate to another site.

The result of this collaboration is Lidl House, a new 250,000 square foot BREEAM Outstanding office building. The site accommodates its 800-strong head office team, with further room to grow.

As the architect, interior designer and lead consultant, M Moser created a modern workspace with four floors, a basement and a multi-level parking lot.

Project Planning

During the feasibility assessment process, M Moser meticulously evaluated multiple sites and engaged in a range of activities to gather crucial insights. These activities encompassed leadership visioning sessions, conducting interviews with colleagues at all levels, and studying business adjacencies to better understand the project’s potential. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s goals and aspirations, M Moser conducted workshops with the staff and held in-depth interviews with the CEO and board directors.

Additionally, M Moser collaborated closely with Design South East (DSE) and worked together on submitting planning applications. Recognizing the importance of community input, M Moser actively consulted with the DSE & local planning authority and organized community workshops to ensure that the project aligned with the needs and aspirations of the local population. Through this comprehensive approach, M Moser created a well-informed and inclusive plan that maximizes the project’s feasibility and positive impact.

Project Details

Lidl House provides extensive amenities, making it an attractive destination for people to work. In addition to the workspace, the office interior includes a development kitchen, canteen, conference suite, colleague wellness centre with exercise studios and a large gym in the basement.

The atrium at the heart of the building acts as a multifunctional space. For example, it offers a coffee bar, areas for collaboration and a place to host colleague events.

All workstations benefit from light from the atrium or perimeter glazing. M Moser undertook daylight studies simulating different times of the year to ensure light reaches deep within the floor plates.

Sustainable design in architecture

Lidl House achieved BREEAM Outstanding and includes several innovative sustainability measures:

  • The installation of photovoltaic (PV) cells and solar panels to significantly reduce the building’s conventional energy source consumption.
  • Sustainable urban drainage systems manage rainwater, reducing the risk of flooding and conserving water resources.
  • Permeable paving allows water to drain into the ground, reducing the risk of flooding and promoting groundwater recharge.
  • A rainwater harvesting system recycles water for toilet flushing, conserving resources and reducing water costs.
  • Space for 200 bicycles, encouraging sustainable transportation and in turn reducing the number of vehicles on the road.
  • A multi-storey car park, with the largest number of electric car charging points in one location in the UK.
  • A daylight sensor lighting system that adjusts the brightness of lights according to the amount of natural light available, to help reduce energy consumption.
  • A building management system (BMS), that helps monitor and control the systems and services, improving efficiency.

M Moser designed the façade to help regulate energy usage. It limits solar gain in summer to reduce cooling loads and maximizes it in winter to reduce heating requirements. In turn, this informed the MEP services design.


Overall Project Results

Selecting the right site for the new Lidl office

Lidl’s previous head offices covered four sites in Wimbledon, London. After learning about the client’s aspirations, it was clear that the offices could not support Lidl’s growth plans. Splitting departments across multiple buildings also curbed productivity. So, Lidl needed to consolidate its people and real estate to support a ‘one team’ ethos.

During the building search, the M Moser architecture team provided technical due diligence and produced feasibility studies for various sites to test their fit. Findings showed a strong preference towards a building with large floor plates to support future growth. Ultimately, this led us to a site in Tolworth that met Lidl’s spatial requirements and more.

Linking workplace strategy with architecture and interior design

M Moser’s workplace strategy studies established guiding principles for the design. Lidl wanted colleague interaction and collaboration to help drive support for its now network of 950 stores, 13 warehouses and 29,500+ colleagues across Great Britain. Social spaces with refreshment facilities sit on balconies in the atrium beside the main circulation routes. As a result, people move around fluidly, drawn to the community areas at the centre.

“The atrium links everything together. Besides connecting each floor, it opens a line of sight between the main road and the Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) to the rear. There is also an East-West green route connecting the staff entrances with external parkland. Moreover, a south-facing terrace on the 4th floor offers employees fantastic views and outside meeting space”, shares Associate Director and Architect RIBA ARB, Mark Dempsey.

Lidl House exemplifies M Moser’s integrated approach, with close collaboration between multiple disciplines to enhance value and minimize risk. As a team, M Moser assisted the business in achieving its future goals, while providing Lidl’s people with everything they need under one roof.

In summary, this project marks a significant achievement for Lidl GB. Over the years, we’ve supported the business through workplace strategy, feasibility studies, technical due diligence, sustainability and architectural services. M Moser successfully guided the process of designing and constructing the office, which has been the discounter’s proud home since 2022.

Project Summary

M Moser worked closely with the Local Planning Authority (LPA) in the Royal Borough of Kingston (RBK) to select the site for the Lidl House HQ office building. The site was identified as a “Key Area of Change”. Therefore, the LPA expected any new buildings to add to the area’s character, while setting a positive precedent for future developments.

“Lidl House enriches RBK’s aspirations for a ‘gateway site’ on the approach to Tolworth – an entry point to central London. Lidl House has a transformative effect on the local environment. It creates a positive example for future development initiatives. In addition, Lidl is to be an anchor employer for the area. So, it significantly impacts the community by creating new jobs and boosting the local economy”, shares Associate Director and Architect RIBA, ARB, AIA, Nick Toft.

Design Team

Photography credit

  • Chris Snook
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