Even as a city always moving forward, London never ceases to take us back in time. Around every corner, you’ll find strong reminders of the city’s vivid history, from Roman occupation to World War bombings. Most of its oldest landmarks now serve many different purposes than in the past; while some have been restored into trendy hotels and clubs, others are home to some of London’s most beautiful and dynamic workspaces. Steeped in history, these 8 London offices are anything but business-as-usual.
Coming to work at WeWork Waterhouse Square every morning, you may just think you’re stepping into Hogwarts. The large red terracotta Victorian building dates back to 1901 and was designed by architects Alfred and Paul Waterhouse. Original features included a library, restaurant, chapel, rooftop promenade and women’s entrance.
Waterhouse Square has kept all its character and is now the home of a tight-knit group of entrepreneurs and creatives–especially those in the advertising, legal, and business services fields. Over two floors of workspace, you’ll find private phone booths, conference rooms and designer breakout space.
Located mere minutes from Tower Bridge is The Dock: a hotspot for business and innovation since the early 1800s. This Grade I listed warehouse was built in 1805 and designed by John Rennie–the man behind the original London Bridge. It was originally used as a cargo warehouse for London’s booming shipping industry and (surprise, surprise!) filled with tobacco. Its vaults–which at times also stored wine, brandy and animals furs–are rumoured to have been built by prisoners in the Napoleonic wars. Since then, The Dock has gone on to appear in a music video for Orchestral Manoeuvres, as well as in a Ford advert and the TV series Ashes to Ashes. Soldiers also moved in for a brief time during the 2012 London Olympics.
The Dock is now home to a diverse community of businesses and entrepreneurs. Hot desks, fixed desks and privates offices are offered starting from £250 pp/month.
Just a short walk to London Bridge, The Leather Market buildings are strong reminders of the importance of the leather industry in 19th century Bermondsey: in fact, it was estimated that Bermondsey produced a third of all leather in the UK. Opened in 1833, the buildings were constructed by a company formed of local tanners and leather-dresses, and featured two trading areas (one for untreated skins and hides, and another for dressed or finished leather).
While the eastern part of the Leather Market was demolished after being badly damaged in WWII, the western part now serves a much different purpose. The Leather Market now offers flexible workspace and studios to start-ups in all kinds of industries. Features include an open-air courtyard studio, meeting rooms, cafe and breakout space.
“My concept for Ministry was purely this: 100% sound system first, lights second, design third (in that order); the reverse of everyone else’s idea,” said Justin Berkmann on creating Ministry of Sound, one of the world’s most famous nightclubs. Located in Elephant and Castle, London’s first club devoted to American house music opened in 1991 and has since hosted sets from popular DJs Adam Beyer, DJ Harvey, Dixon, Marshmello and Pete Tong.
Ministry of Sound also happens to be one of the city’s hottest coworking spaces, offering tons of breakout space, meeting rooms, a boardroom, breakfast bar and an on-site HIIT studio. Find out more about renting a desk at Ministry of Sound here.
This 5 storey Grade II listed Victorian building in the heart of the City was formerly occupied by Cazenove: the Queen’s reported stockbrokers.
Keeping with tradition, Tokenhouse today still boasts a grand central staircase with a decorative domed ceiling and ornate chandelier. Amenities include 24/7 access, breakout space, meeting rooms and admin support.
Green Park House is a Grade II listed building and a former arts and crafts residence. Originally designed by CJ Harold Cooper in 1895, it was restored by architects Wells Mackereth and Scott Brownrigg.
Green Park House is fully serviced and spread out over 5 beautifully-designed floors, offering plenty of lounge areas and breakout space. Its Mayfair location can’t be beat: just seconds from Green Park tube station, you’ll be able to grab lunch in Hyde Park when the sun is out and run some after-work errands on Regent Street.
If you’re looking for groovy workspace with tons of charm and a tight-knit entrepreneurial community, this one’s for you. Medius House is a Grade II listed building that was originally home to a music publishing firm–no surprise to those who’ve visited the building, as an installation made up of hundreds of pieces of used sheet music can still be found at its entrance.
Medius House is located in the heart of trendy Soho. In addition to large bay windows and exposed brick walls, features also include a screening room, on-site staff, unique common areas and unlimited coffee–perfect for freelancers or creative teams.
Formerly the offices of The Stock Exchange, Warnford Court is right in the heart of the City of London and a short walk from Bank, Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations. The building has been beautifully restored to include comfortable coworking space, airy private office space, meeting room and even a two-bedroom apartment should you need to accommodate clients for a few nights.