Text description provided by the architects. The new workspace in Covent Garden for housing developers Pocket Living is structured around a forty-metre long inhabited wall that creates a permeable and active threshold between the public and private sides of their office.
The wall winds through the unusually shaped floor plate of this existing office building as a formative and functional element, carefully constructed using modest materials that reflect the company’s design-focussed and affordable approach.
The wall is permeable with openings along its length carefully co-ordinated to set up vistas through the layered workspace and onto the original windows which frame detailed views of the cityscape beyond. While separating front and back of house activities, the threshold wall goes further in containing and enclosing spaces which are utilised as meeting rooms, wellness rooms and break out and canteen spaces.
The function of the wall varies, beginning with banquet seating in a private meeting room at its very apex, in the main the workspace it contains extensive storage and display cabinetry along with spaces for discrete informal team meetings and solo working, and terminates by forming a fully equipped kitchen, dining space, and wellness room.
The scheme utilises cost-effective robust materials in the form of a Nordic white stained spruce plywood, a contrasting light grey steel structural framework highlights panel size variations and a matt midnight blue laminate that expresses the negative space taken away from the initial timber mass in the form of alcoves, display tops and kitchen counters.
The project has been a success in providing a growing, innovative and versatile organisation a flexible workspace that offers a mixture of open collaborative and studious private spaces which has had a positive impact on the culture and working practices of the team.