Offices that work

Whether a speculative high grade building or a corporate interior, the best projects generate long-term value for clients, occupiers and the environment alike. In designing new offices, we try to anticipate the future from the start, to create more well-rounded spaces and find opportunities to make the most of context. The best offices are more than just a place to work, but places where one wants to be, to enjoy, to socialise, to have a rest or even take in a breath of fresh air. These are offices that work – resilient, individual and urban.

The world is changing and the workplace must change with it. To keep up, successful office design should be flexible, able to accommodate evolution and unanticipated futures brought on by a number of factors ranging from fluctuating economic cycles to the development of new technologies. It is with this understanding that we believe new office buildings need to be designed to have a long life, to age well, minimising future environmental impact, able to adapt to different tenants and uses. This is an intrinsically sustainable approach, minimising the energy-intensive nature of needing to rebuild something completely new.

A happy, productive workplace is nearly always a well-designed one. For companies and organisations, their spaces are not just a place for business of their day-to-day operations, but a calling card. There are many opportunities for an organisation to tell its story and communicate its values through design – architecture as brand expression. Workplace design can also be one of the best tools available to an organisation to retain and recruit the best talent. The health, fitness and wellbeing of employees, the incidental interactions that spark new innovation, the ability to have some fun while on the job – these are all aspects of company life that are positively shaped by architecture.

In a busy, complex city, to design a new office building is as much an act of choreography as it is an architectural one. Buildings are in a constant dialogue with their surroundings, framing new spaces and shaping the look and feel of our cities. At street-level, there is an imperative to design buildings that look out and not just in, ensuring the quality of spaces between buildings is just as important as the presence of a single building itself. There are key elements to both incorporate and maximise such as views, walkability and access to outdoor space. And for taller buildings, it is important to consider its status on the skyline, which merits architectural responses that are sensible and will be appreciated by future generations. Knitting offices into the fabric of our cities is not just good urbanism but it is good business.


Image courtesy Argent/John Sturrock

City of London, 2018
Knit into the Square Mile

PaddingtonCentral, London, 2017
Looking out over Maida Vale

Earlsfield, London, 2015
HQ for a family-run business

King's Cross, London, 2014
BREEAM Outstanding offices

Southwark, London, 2013
Recycling an old building frame

Stratford, London, 2012
A high tech hub in legacy

Southwark, London, 2007
A new piece of city