Slides, running circuits and climbing walls – who said working in an office doesn’t get your pulse racing?
Thanks to a new generation of architects and design talent catering for co-working, freelancers and the need for increasingly open work environments, offices are being transformed into some of the most striking spaces in the city.
Looking for some office design inspiration, or a new home for your business? Take a look at some of the most unique offices London has to offer.
Innocent Drinks – Kensal Rise
Known affectionately as Fruity Towers, the Innocent Drinks offices in Kensal Rise are as colourful as its smoothies. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) just picked them out as one of their 5 favourite offices in the world right now, and they know a thing or two about design. So what does RIBA love about this quirky office space?
Designed by Stiff & Trevillion, it perfectly encompasses the brand’s cheeky, cheery nature. The ground floor is carpeted in fresh green fake grass where you’re encouraged to take a stroll in your bare feet. There are picnic tables and bunting everywhere, limitless free smoothies for all, diner-style meeting rooms, hanging chairs, a library and a terrace for a breath of fresh air.
There’s no hierarchy or chief executive area, and the office space is bright and open with the mezzanine level above – a great reflection of the friendly mantra of the company, allowing easy communication between floors. Fruity Towers shows how branding can intertwine with design, and that workspace design can really encompass a company’s ethos. The public are invited to pop down any time for a tour!
Google – Pancras Square
800 lucky engineers were the first arrivals at Google’s new state of the art offices by King’s Cross station back in June 2016 and over the rest of the year an additional 2,000 employees moved in to the most talked about unique office space in London. The expansion doesn’t end there either – 3,000 new recruits are set to join the company in 2017, taking up residence in a second brand new purpose built building to accompany the first.
The design by Stirling Prize-winning architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris includes strikingly curved black steel and oak staircases, a bespoke YouTube studio where vloggers can get creative and eye-wateringly expensive Swiss furniture courtesy of Vitra. It’s gorgeous, ground-breaking and just plain fun.
Add to this a wraparound terrace with spectacular views of the city that doubles as an alternative workspace, a 90-metre running track encircling an on-site gym (necessary to burn off all the free food and drink) and complimentary massage suite and you’ve got something very special indeed.
And to help employees get the work/life balance right, there are sleep pods for power naps, fresh air via huge outdoor roof terraces and even cookery and butchery classes courtesy of Jamie Oliver’s pal, Dan Batten.
BIZZBY Shoreditch Designer Loft
This funky and unusual office space is in the heart of Shoreditch and available on Hubble right now. An old Victorian curtain pole factory has been transformed into one of the most vibrant, colourful and creative offices in the city. Surrounded by exposed brickwork, there’s a nod to the building’s roots with industrial furnishings and a wooden vaulted ceiling. But the real draw here is the amazing 1800 square foot montage on the wooden floor.
Created by one of London’s most talented graffiti artists, Lucaso, it depicts every aspect of planet earth, complete with planets, oceans, indoor grass and twinkling LED stars. Rohan Sinclair Luvaglio, BIZZBY’s CEO explains: “We wanted to build an environment which is full of ideas, where creativity can run rife – and then top it by ignoring the conventions of a typical boring office.”
“Some of our team sit on beanbags with their toes in the grass all day, others prefer to sit at a desk. We reckon we are more productive and more focused due to the freedom this new kind of work environment offers.”
Karmarama – Farringdon
Fancy a meeting in a motorbike workshop or a ski lodge? We guarantee you’ve never seen an office like this. Home to Karmarama, the largest independent communications agency in the UK, this Farringdon headquarters is clad with full colour wall graphics, features ‘wood’ and ‘concrete’ carpets and is decorated with a unique mix of custom-built furniture, including tables made from real tyres and logs.
Large-scale text features around the agency, defining spaces such as the lift lobby and a floor-to- ceiling ‘Shhhh’ curtain defines the central meeting area. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d just strutted into a retro disco in some spaces, with neon lighting all around and an illuminated passage that pumps out a disco soundtrack all day long.
And helping you get the work/life balance just right, there’s a ping-pong area, climbing wall, deluxe canteen, loads of games consoles, an art gallery and occasional gigs after hours. Plus the office brews its own beer, making it home to the smallest pub in London!
Shoreditch Platform – Kingsland Road
Think a unique office space in London is out of your reach? Think again, especially if you like trainspotting. Shoreditch Platform is a pay-by- the-hour co-working space and cocktail lounge in Shoreditch based directly next to the overground train line (yes – you’ll see them whizzing by all day).
Specifically set up to cater for businesses and individuals alike, you can slot into a hot-desk in the workspace or settle into a sofa in the lounge where clients, colleagues and friends are welcome.
With 50+ workstations for hot-desking, private phone booths and a stylish glass walled meeting room with enormous wooden table, this edgy, urban workspace has everything you need to get business done.
But it’s the Lounge factor that really sets this office apart. It’s a lovingly designed bar/work space where you can take a breather, meet clients, enjoy a cocktail after work and make connections in your down time. There’s complimentary barista coffee, a juice bar, an exhibition space for local artists and a packed programme of eclectic evening events, from magazine launch parties to inspiring talks and spoken words sessions to feed your creative buzz.
Ticketmaster – Angel
Ticketmaster opened its head office back in the spring of 2013 in Angel, just a stone’s throw from Tech City and the Old Street roundabout. Being a live entertainment company, the space was designed specifically to boost creativity and encourage socialising in line with the ethos of the business. It quickly received wider recognition in the form of featuring in a BBC News piece on ‘bizarre’ objects in the coolest new offices.
The object in question? A fully operational metal slide leading from the workspace to the bar area, where table football, pinball machines and a jukebox await agile employees. Known as ‘The Imperial’ this multi-functional space looks more like an amusement arcade than an office and is used by employees to relax and socialise after hours. There’s even a mini-cinema broadcasting live summer sports and weekly film screenings.
Along with The Imperial, the office features a Fitness Studio and an area called ‘The Sanctuary’ where employees who need a space to chill out can go. Here staff are able to book themselves in for a massage to alleviate any work stresses.
What’s your favourite unique office space in London? Let us know by messaging us on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll give it the recognition it deserves.