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    Victorian warehouse in London transformed into Greencoat Place office

    British architecture practice Squire and Partners and office design firm Modus Workspace have retained the ornate cast-iron columns and glazed tiles of a 19th-century warehouse in London while turning it into a contemporary workspace.

    Located in London’s Victoria, the Greencoat Place building was originally used as a warehouse, storeroom and food hall for the Army & Navy Stores – a military cooperative turned department store that was acquired by House of Fraser in 1973.
    Greencoat Place is a warehouse-turned-office in LondonNow, the building belongs to serviced office provider Fora and houses a mix of workspaces and amenities including a fitness studio, a colourful terrazzo bar and a vertical farm on the lower-ground level, where fresh produce is grown for workers to take home or eat for lunch.
    Two historic halls sit at the heart of the building – one serving as a flexible communal space for events or casual meetings, while the other is a workspace flooded with natural light from a skylight above.
    The building’s original brickwork was exposed in several placesReferences to the building’s past can be found throughout its interiors. This includes carefully preserved mouldings and glazed tiles, some featuring marine details in a nod to Army & Navy Stores’ history as a military cooperative, which supplied officers and their families with price-controlled goods.

    The building’s cast-iron columns and original steel doors were restored along with the vaulted ceilings on the lower ground level. In places where the original brickwork was exposed, the design team deliberately left layers of paint behind to visualise the renovation process.
    Its decorative glazed tiles were also retainedModus Workspace chose a soft, calm interior palette to contrast with the building’s industrial shell. Lime-washed oak was paired with richly textured fabrics and arch-shaped details, which echo the arches in the original halls.
    Colourful mosaic tiling unearthed in neighbouring residential buildings was reinterpreted in the flooring of the office’s communal spaces, introducing colour and pattern.

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    Open lounge spaces provide a calm environment to relax and collaborate while a series of video call booths are equipped with integrated lighting designed to show people in their best light.
    Video call facilities are also available in every meeting room to cater to hybrid working patterns, while secure cycle storage, changing facilities and showers promote an active commute or lunch break.
    Well-lit booths provide private spaces for video callsIn line with biophilic design principles, the interior combines plenty of planting, daylight and natural materials in a bid to enhance occupants’ wellbeing.
    To make the Victorian building more energy efficient and minimise its operational emissions, the architecture firm installed new glazing, sensor-controlled lighting and a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system, which only circulates the minimum amount of refrigerants needed during a single heating or cooling period.
    The building’s concrete shell is softened with biophilic design elementsGreencoat Place has been shortlisted in the large workspace interior category of Dezeen Awards 2022.
    Two former industrial buildings are also in the running for the title – Dyson’s global HQ housed in a Singapore power station and a shared workspace, which is set in the generator building that once supplied Bristol’s tram system.
    The photography is by Jack Hobhouse.

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    Nina + Co brings biomaterials into MONC eyewear store in London

    Cornstarch-foam shelves meet mycelium display plinths in this London store that Nina + Co has designed for bioplastic eyewear brand MONC.

    Nestled among a parade of high-end shops in Marylebone, MONC sells glasses made from bio-acetate – an acetate produced completely without fossil fuels – which are packaged using recycled leather cases and compostable cornstarch foam.
    The first MONC eyewear location sits along a row of shops in MaryleboneWhen local studio Nina + Co was brought in to design MONC’s debut store, the team was keen to incorporate biomaterials throughout the interior, while also taking the brand’s short-term lease of the retail unit into account.
    “Circularity was key,” said the studio. “Almost everything we brought into that building was entirely bio-based or recycled.”
    “The furniture is expertly built to last but can be disassembled for re-use, recycling or return to the earth as nourishment.”

    The store features a ceiling installation made from cornstarch foamUpon entering the store, visitors find themselves under an undulating ceiling installation crafted from corrugated panels of cornstarch foam.
    Thicker blocks of the material were used to create rows of squishy-looking shelves, which can be used for packaging or simply dissolved in water when they eventually start to show signs of wear and tear.
    The foam was also used to form small shelvesDisplay plinths made out of mycelium – the vegetative part of a fungus – were dotted across the store to showcase different eyewear models.
    In between the shelves, a couple of long mirrors are balanced on hunks of concrete that were salvaged from roadworks nearby.
    A recycled PET island sits at the centre of the store beside mycelium display plinthsThe craggy concrete was chosen as a subtle nod to the rugged Dolomite mountains, which can be seen from the Italian town where all MONC eyewear is produced.
    Nina + Co worked closely alongside Welsh manufacturers Smile Plastics and London joiner EJ Ryder to design the store’s recycled PET island and bench seat, which are an apricot-orange hue.

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    As both furniture pieces were joined with mechanical bolts rather than glues, they can easily be taken apart, flat packed and transported to a different MONC store for reuse.
    Walls throughout the interior were finished with VOC-free clay paint while the unit’s existing floor was covered with a water-based sealant.
    The plastic was also used to form a bench seat”Previous tenants had ripped up their floor to leave a plywood subfloor, with markings of the adhesive still evident and some paint bucket outlines,” the studio explained.
    “After a test patch, we were convinced that a simple water-based sealant would give it a beautiful depth and sheen with the industrial feel of concrete [while being] kinder to the planet and the budget.”
    Walls were washed with a calming clay paintMONC is one of five projects shortlisted in the small retail interior category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
    It’s going head-to-head with the Durat showroom by Linda Bergroth, which is decked out in an unusual mix of colours, and Aesop’s Yorkville store by Odami with its oxblood-red balusters.
    The photography is by Handover.

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    London Fire Brigade “celebrates bravery” with exhibition marking launch of updated typeface

    The London Fire Brigade has unveiled its updated typeface designed by Studio Sutherl& and The Foundry Types at the Running Towards exhibition of graphic artworks informed by the organisation’s design heritage.

    The Running Towards exhibition took place at the Shoreditch Fire Station during the London Design Festival, with visitors entering through the building’s big red shutters into a display of artworks created by UK designers.
    The exhibition took place at Shoreditch Fire StationThe new Fire Brigade Sans typeface, created by Studio Sutherl& and The Foundry Types, was displayed on the exterior of Shoreditch Fire Station.
    Its design was informed by the lettering of old fire engines and on the facade, the typeface was printed in the red, yellow and gold colours synonymous with fire engines.
    Studio Sutherl& designed London Fire Brigade’s new typefaceTo celebrate the typeface, London Fire Brigade collaborated with communications agency KesselsKramer, writer Thomas Sharp, Studio Sutherl& and carpet manufacturer Britons on the exhibition, which saw designers create their own interpretations of the organisation’s design heritage.

    Among the pieces on show were graphic interpretations of the Danger Risk of Fire safety sign, a bespoke carpet with a pattern informed by the universal fire exit sign and firefighting objects and items from Shoreditch Fire Station’s own collection.
    London Fire Brigade’s typeface Fire Brigade Sans was featured on postersKesselsKramer described the showcase as “a celebration of London Fire Brigade’s bravery, aiming to inspire that very same spirit within ourselves.”
    The studio invited 25 London-based designers to recreate the fire safety symbol for their display, titled ​​Warning: Risk of Fire.
    “It felt appropriate that for London Fire Brigade’s inaugural Design Festival exhibition, a piece of graphic design synonymous with the fire service became the focus,” said KesselsKramer.
    Franz Lang’s design tells the story of her grandma’s catPresented on triangular signs, each artwork was designed to tell a story of firefighting bravery. Graphic artist Jimmy Turrell’s interpretation was dedicated to his father who was a firefighter.
    Illustrator Franz Lang’s entry represented the story of her grandma’s cat, who was rescued from a tree by the fire brigade.

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    “This is such an iconic location for an art show,” said Lauren Coutts, art director at KesselsKramer. “To get a rare glimpse into a fire station is very exciting in itself so to then be able to celebrate bravery here, in so many forms, feels very special.”
    Britons created a bespoke wool carpet for The Running Towards exhibition, which features a pattern informed by the universal fire exit symbol.
    Britons designed a carpet to display at The Running Towards exhibitionBurgundy and navy chevrons repeat along the length of the carpet with arrows and stick figures that reference the fire exit sign. According to Britons, the carpet is made from wool to exemplify the material’s naturally fire-retardant properties.
    “As a material, wool contains a higher water and nitrogen content than other man-made fibres making it a naturally fire-retardant material,” said Britons.
    “Another benefit is that it does not emit smoke or fumes, often one of the main causes of serious health issues following a fire.”
    The exhibition showcased graphic posters in a colour palette that references fire enginesOther exhibitions that took place during London Design Festival include a collection of wooden objects made from a dying ash tree and a sculptural stone installation that references Stonehenge.
    The photography is courtesy of the London Fire Brigade.
    The Running Towards took place between 20 and 24 September as part of London Design Festival. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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    Exhibition dedicated to the work of Yinka Ilori opens at London's Design Museum

    Brightly coloured chairs and personal memorabilia feature in the Parables for Happiness exhibition showcasing the works of London-based designer Yinka Ilori at the Design Museum.

    Opened during London Design Festival, the exhibition is the first major display of Ilori’s vast number of vibrant designs, including graphic murals, furniture and public installations.
    Parables of Happiness showcases a wide selection of Ilori’s designsIlori’s designs are exhibited alongside pieces that influenced his work and objects representing his Nigerian heritage, including Nigerian textiles adorned with colourful geometric patterns and a traditional Dùndún drum that visitors can play.
    The show also includes models of some of the 80 sculptural chairs that Ilori has designed.
    Ilori started his career designing chairsOne of Ilori’s chair designs is presented in a line-up of iconic and recognisable chairs with the aim of giving context to his work. Included in the display is the RCP2 chair by Jane Atfield, who was Ilori’s tutor at university.

    “One of the reasons I started designing was because of a brief given by Jane Atfield called Our Chair,” Ilori told Dezeen. “Purely because of her brief is why I started designing chairs when I finished uni.”
    A chair designed by David Adjaye is exhibited alongside Ilori’s workAnother chair on display is the Washington Skeleton Side Chair designed by British-Ghanian architect David Adjaye, who Ilori credits with having “opened doors for designers like me”.
    “Over the years, my work has gained recognition for the strong use of colour, pattern and narrative that comes from my Nigerian heritage,” said Ilori. “However, it has often deviated from design trends and has been misunderstood”
    “This display charts my inspirations and creative journey as I transitioned from furniture design to community-driven public installations,” he continued.
    His work is influenced by Nigerian textilesVisitors to the exhibition can discover Ilori’s architectural projects through photographs, drawings and models including his Colour Palace pavilion, which was erected in Dulwich in 2019.
    Details of Ilori’s Launderette of Dreams – an installation that involved reimagining a launderette in London as a children’s play zone for Lego – are displayed. A lego chair that formed part of the Launderette of Dreams installation is also on display at the show.

    Yinka Ilori builds colourful Lego launderette in east London for kids to play in

    “A fast-rising star of contemporary design, Yinka Ilori’s unique aesthetic – drawing on Nigerian textiles with a nod to postmodernism – employs a mix of visual references that come together to inspire joy,” said the exhibition’s curator Priya Khanchandani.
    “This display is a testament to how cultural fusions, frissons and juxtapositions can be rich fuel for creativity and for generating more inclusive architectures in the city.”
    Chairs and details of the designer’s public installations are included in the exhibitionAs well as showcasing Ilori’s bright, playful designs and examples of his design influences, the exhibition features some of the designer’s personal items.
    Visitors can see his name badge from working at Marks and Spencer and a pair of paint-splattered trousers that Ilori wore while painting a number of his graphic murals.
    Ilori is known for his use of colour and graphic representation”I’m a huge believer in memory making and storytelling – how do we relive or revisit memories?” said Ilori.
    In Parables of Happiness, Ilori hopes to “open up new conversations about design in the UK and internationally, to see how other people view design around the world”.
    “I am truly humbled and honoured to have my work exhibited at such an early stage in my career and hope the display provides inspiration for the next generation who might feel they don’t fit into the status quo,” the designer continued.
    Known for his colourful designs, Ilori has recently completed a pavilion in Berlin with a canopy made up of brightly coloured translucent disks and transformed his London studio and office with bold hues indicative of his signature art style.
    The photography is by Felix Speller.
    Parables for Happiness takes place from 15 September 2022 to 25 June 2023 at the Design Museum in London. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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    Ten designers create products from a single dying ash tree for SCP

    Furniture company SCP has tasked a group of British designers including Faye Toogood and Sebastian Cox to craft objects from the wood of a tree infected with ash dieback disease for this year’s London Design Festival.

    The resulting pieces, ranging from furniture and lighting to decorative objects, are currently on display as part of the One Tree exhibition the brand is hosting in its Shoreditch showroom.
    One Tree includes works by Moe Redish (above) and Wilkinson & Rivera (top)The project saw ten designers make use of a tree on SCP founder Sheridan Coakley’s property, which had to be felled after being infected with a highly destructive fungal disease called ash dieback. Eventually, this is expected to kill around 80 per cent of ash trees in the UK.
    “Most fallen ash trees are getting just cut down and used for firewood,” Coakley told Dezeen. “But rather than burning the tree or letting it rot, we wanted to capture the carbon that’s in the wood by making something out of it.”
    Faye Toogood made an organic love seat from a tree forkA group of ten designers and makers, including Cox and Toogood alongside industrial designer Matthew Hilton, carpenter Poppy Booth and design duo Wilkinson & Rivera, was invited to observe the tree being felled in April 2022 and to select the pieces of timber they wanted to use.

    Toogood created a stool from the fork of the tree, which forms a natural love seat. This effect was highlighted by stripping off the bark of the wood but leaving its shape largely unadulterated.
    Flat facets allow the wood grain to become decoration in Sarah Kay’s piecesAlso making use of the thick, solid parts of the tree was designer and maker Sarah Kay, who chose to bisect a log to create a series of geometric side tables.
    The logs were given flat facets to highlight the gnarled grain of the wood. This swirling, almost psychedelic graining is also apparent in Wilkinson & Rivera’s three-seater bench.
    Poppy Booth’s cupboard is based on an abstract paintingHusband-and-wife duo Grant Wilkinson and Teresa River used rudimentary forms to construct the bench, allowing the grain of the wood to serve as decoration.
    Another furniture piece in the exhibition is a corner cupboard designed by Poppy Booth based on Black Square – an abstract painting by Russian-Ukrainian artist Kazimir Malevich from 1915.
    Mirroring the painting, the cupboard front features a square of blackened ash surrounded by a non-burnt frame. The piece is intended sit high up in the corner of a room to act as a kind of memorial for all the ash trees killed by the dieback.
    Max Bainbridge created a bench, vessels and wall pieceEast London designer Moe Redish created a series of glass vases and vessels, which were mouth-blown into natural voids in the wood made by birds, insects, weather damage and the fungus that causes ash dieback.
    Taking a similar approach, artist and craftsman Max Bainbridge chose to work with pieces of the tree that had apparent fissures, splits and raw edges, and turned them into a series of organically shaped vessels, a bench and a wall piece called Portrait of Ash.

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    A number of designers took a more sculptural approach, with Oscar Coakley creating a giant wall fixture in the shape of an acid-house smiley while Hilton designed a helical Jenga-like sculpture made from repeating elements of carved wood.
    Cox, who took charge of cutting up the ash tree using his portable sawmill and dried all of the wood for the exhibition in his South London studio, created two lights using the branches that were left behind after all the other designers had made their selections.
    Long sections from the tree’s branches were used for Sebastian Cox’s lightsThe branches were cut into thin, raw-edge slivers and fashioned into triangular prisms to act as shades for a pendant and standing lamp.
    The pieces are being presented as part of SCP’s Almost Instinct showcase at LDF and are all for sale, with the aim of putting a selection of the items into production in the future.
    Oscar Coakley created a wall fixture in the shape of a smiley”I think this is a project that might continue,” Sheridan Coakley said. “There are other trees that have got to come down, why not make something with them?”
    This year’s LDF saw a slew of brands open their showrooms and run events, many returning for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
    All the pieces in SCP’s show were made using wood from this ash treeOther projects on show as part of the festival include an installation by architecture studio Stanton Williams that was informed by Stonehenge and Shakespearian theatres, and an exhibition of furniture by James Shaw that pokes fun at the tensions that arise between cohabiting couples.
    Photography is by Robbie Wallace.
    One Tree is on show between 17 and 25 September as part of London Design Festival. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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    Jan Hendzel tracks down “super special” London timbers to overhaul Town Hall Hotel suites

    Reclaimed architectural timber and wood from a felled street tree form the furnishings of two hotel suites that designer Jan Hendzel has revamped for London’s Town Hall Hotel in time for London Design Festival.

    Suites 109 and 111 are set on the first floor of the Town Hall Hotel, which is housed in a converted Grade II-listed town hall in Bethnal Green dating back to 1910.
    Each of the apartment-style suites features a living room with a kitchen alongside a bedroom and en-suite, which Hendzel has outfitted with bespoke furnishings. Like all of the furniture maker’s pieces, these are crafted exclusively from British timbers.
    Jan Hendzel has overhauled suites 109 (top) and 111 (above) of the Town Hall HotelBut for his first interiors project, Hendzel took an even more hyper-local approach with the aim of finding all of the necessary products inside the M25 – the motorway that encircles the British capital.
    “We started out with the idea that we could source everything within London,” he told Dezeen during a tour of the suites.

    “Some timbers have come from Denmark Hill, some are reclaimed from Shoreditch. And we used Pickleson Paint, which is a company just around the corner, literally two minutes from here.”
    The living area of suite 111 features green upholstery by Yarn CollectiveThe reclaimed timber came in the form of pinewood roof joists and columns, which Hendzel found at an architectural salvage yard.
    These had to be scanned with a metal detector to remove any nails or screws so they could be machined into side tables and tactile wire-brushed domes used to decorate the suites’ coffee tables.
    Rippled wooden fronts finish the kitchen in both suitesIn Suite 111, both the dining table and the rippled kitchen fronts are made from one of the many plane trees that line the capital’s streets, giving them the nickname London plane.
    “This London plane is super special because it has come from a tree that was taken up outside Denmark Hill train station in Camberwell,” Hendzel explained. “We couldn’t find timber from Bethnal Green but it’s the closest we could get.”
    The dining table in suite 111 is made from London planeFor other pieces, materials had to be sourced from further afield – although all are either made in the UK or by UK-based brands.
    Hendzel used British ash and elm to craft mirrors and benches with intricate hand-carved grooves for the suites, while the patterned rugs in the living areas come from West London studio A Rum Fellow via Nepal.
    “People in the UK don’t make rugs, so you have to go further afield,” Hendzel said. “Same with the upholstery fabrics. You could get them here but if they are quadruple your budget, it’s inaccessible.”

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    Hendzel’s aim for the interior scheme was to create a calm, pared-back version of a hotel room, stripping away all of the “extra stuff” and instead creating interest through rich textural contrasts.
    This is especially evident in the bespoke furniture pieces, which will now become part of his studio’s permanent collection.
    Among them is the Wharf coffee table with its reclaimed wooden domes, worked with a wire brush to expose the intricate graining of the old-growth timber and offset against a naturally rippled tabletop.
    “It’s a genetic defect of the timber, but it makes it extra special and catches your eye,” Hendzel said.
    Grooves were hand-carved into the surfaces of mirrors and benches featured throughout the suitesThe coffee table, much like the nearby Peng dining chair, is finished with faceted knife-drawn edges reminiscent of traditional stone carving techniques. But while the table has a matt finish, the chair is finished with beeswax so its facets will reflect the light.
    Unexpected details such as loose-tongue joints, typically used to make tables, distinguish the Mowlavi sofa and armchair, while circular dowels draw attention to the wedge joint holding together their frames.
    Reclaimed architectural timber was used to bedside tables in room 109Alongside the bespoke pieces, Hendzel incorporated existing furniture pieces such as the dresser from his Bowater collection, presented at LDF in 2020. Its distinctive undulating exterior was also translated into headboards for the bedrooms and cabinet fronts for the kitchens.
    These are paired with crinoid marble worktops from the Mandale quarry in Derby, with roughly-hewn edges offset against a perfectly smooth surface that reveals the fossils calcified within.
    “It’s a kajillion years old and it’s got all these creatures from many moons ago that have fallen into the mud and died,” Hendzel said. “But then, when they get polished up, they look kind of like Ren and Stimpy.”
    A rippled headboard features in both suitesGoing forwards, the Town Hall Hotel plans to recruit other local designers to overhaul its remaining 94 rooms.
    Other installations on show as part of LDF this year include a collection of rotating public seating made from blocks of granite by designer Sabine Marcelis and an exhibition featuring “sympathetic repairs” of sentimental objects as the V&A museum.
    The photography is by Fergus Coyle.
    London Design Festival 2022 takes place from 17-25 September 2022. See our London Design Festival 2022 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

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    AMO recreates “Provence atmosphere” with clay Jacquemus shop-in-shop

    Dutch studio AMO has created a terracruda-clad shop-in-shop with curving tiered shelving for French-fashion brand Jacquemus at luxury department store Selfridges.

    The boutique was installed as a permanent retail space located on the ground floor of London department store Selfridges and is host to Jacquemus bags and accessories.
    The permanent Jacquemus shop-in-shop was designed by AMODesigned by AMO, the research and design arm of architecture firm OMA, it incorporates curving, floor-to-ceiling display shelving clad in a clay-based material that is said to echo materials local to Provence.
    Between rows of curving and tiered display shelving, plinths, totems, tables and chairs decorate the retail space’s interior and display the brand’s latest bags and accessories.
    Terracruda clay was used across the interiorHidden compartments and cabinets were fitted within display units to create a sense of discovery while also tying the space to the trio of surrealist Jacquemus pop-up installations that ran through May in and around Selfridges and Oxford Street.

    The permanent retail space follows as a result of the success of the Le Bleu surrealist pop-up installations that were created by Dutch experience design firm Random Studio and invited customers to explore and discover the brand’s products.

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    Terracruda clay was applied by hand across the interior of the store to create an uneven surface and natural look. The earthiness of the clay visually juxtaposes against the rigid and solid forms that are populated by colourful bags and accessories.
    Seating areas set within the curving displays are framed by views out to Duke Street and the nearby David Chipperfield-designed entrance that was added to the store in 2018.
    Terracruda clay was used to reference the South of France”The inspiration for the design of the Jacquemus space owes to the brand’s origins in the south of France,” said OMA partner Ellen van Loon.
    “We wanted to capture the atmosphere of Provence through the materiality of the space, which led us to approach the design in a different way altogether,” she continued.
    “Instead of working with form and deciding on the materials afterwards, we chose the materials at the outset and let them guide the shape of the space.”
    Seating areas decorate the boutiqueSwedish streetwear label, Axel Arigato recently unveiled its “upside-down” pop-up sneaker store in the luxury department store that features an office-themed interior.
    In Paris, Acne Studios opened a monolithic store on Rue Saint Honoré that is clad in Parisian limestone and references a Stockholm skatepark.
    The photography is by Lewis Ronald.

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    Cake Architecture creates London office space spread across two contrasting floors

    Cake Architecture has designed a workspace for London agency Ask Us For Ideas using materials and forms that are in “complimentary contrast” with each other.

    Split across the ground floor and basement of a building in southeast London’s New Cross, the office offers a new home to Ask Us For Ideas (AUFI) – a consultancy founded in 2010 to connect brands with creative studios.
    The Ask Us For Ideas office occupies a basement (top image) and ground floor (above) in southeast LondonThe interior consists of a crisp white street-facing gallery and office space on the ground floor, as well as a “speak-easy style” subterranean space with a meeting, lounge and bar area used for collaborative co-working.
    “We’re a business that centres around making connections,” AUFI founder Nick Bell told Dezeen.
    “The brief, in essence, was to create a space that was a physical manifestation of the role we play within the creative industry – a space for connection, somewhere that above being a beautiful place to work was a place that brought people together.”

    A white gallery and office space are housed on the ground floorOn a practical level, the brief called for office space for the company’s ten staff members alongside a street-facing gallery and concept store space for various events, plus enough room to host clients and agencies.
    In response, London-based Cake Architecture set out to create a place that “feels somewhere between the home and the office”, using a mixture of materials and textures to divide up the large open-plan areas into multiple zones.
    A grey carpet runs up the walls of the work area”There were a couple of references and key drivers pushing the concept for this project forward,” said Cake Architecture.
    “Firstly the AUFI website itself. It has this layered, multi-dimensional aesthetic and we thought it could be really interesting to try and translate this into 3D physical space,” the practice added.
    “We started thinking about this layered approach to space-making, removing all internal partitions, maximising light, space, air and experimenting with layers of material, texture, colour and form as a kind of 3D collage.”
    The same carpet coats a central volume that conceals the staircaseSolid partitions were removed and a spiral stair was inserted into the centre of the plan, unlocking the basement for use and further rationalising the layout and flow around the office.
    The two separate floors also provided an opportunity to create two very different moods and atmospheres.
    A spiral staircase runs between the two levels”For us, this project was an attempt at realising a holistic quality of space with materials and forms that are in complimentary contrast with one another,” explained Cake Architecture.
    “In this sense, the consistent theme is really an exercise in playing with contrast.”

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    The crisp white gallery and office space on the ground floor features mesh panelled walls for mounting and displaying work.
    A silver-grey carpet applied to the walls and floors takes visitors through to the main office area at the back of the room.
    Custom steel-framed desks topped with Marmoleum-lined birch plywood provide workspace for the permanent members of staff.
    Darker walls and furnishing create a different atmosphere downstairsIn the centre of the room, a large monolith clad in the same silver-grey carpet conceals a spiral staircase made of galvanised steel that draws guests downstairs.
    Cake Architecture worked with interior designer Max Radford, who consulted on the project and steered the furniture selections including Robin Day’s injection-moulded Polyside chair from 1963 and upholstered swivel Howe 40/4 chairs.
    A long table provides space for collaborative work sessionsThe materials and colours used downstairs in the co-working space are warmer and calmer than those used upstairs, with the walls and ceilings finished in a dark brown limewash render.
    Dark hardwood flooring contrasts with areas of soft and shaggy carpet while mesh screens and a neon-yellow mesh curtain provide further subdivision.
    A bespoke aluminium and glass table takes centre stage in the meeting room and a long table stretching through the middle of the basement is used for collaborative work sessions. A selection of mid-century armchairs provides space for quieter moments.
    The dimly lit meeting room features an aluminium and glass tableA stainless steel kitchen and bar with a raised floor area serve as a platform for socialising before, during and after work.
    Furniture pieces include green Alky lounge chairs by Artifort from the 1970s, Handkerchief chairs by Massimo Vignelli and Howe 40/4 side chairs.
    Green Alky chairs by Artifort feature in the lounge areaLos Angeles design studio Spiritual Objects was commissioned to create a series of unexpected interventions for the space such as a hand-painted bouquet of flowers on the gallery window and a tulip-shaped door handle powder coated in fluorescent yellow.
    “The Tulip Pull door handle is an amazing illustration of the power and impact a beautifully made object can have on a space,” explained Bell.
    “It marks the threshold of the building and is the first thing you physically come into contact with. I believe these moments consciously and subconsciously impact people massively, setting a tone for their experience as they continue through the building.”
    Spiritual Objects created a tulip-shaped pull handle for the office’s main doorPreviously, Cake Architecture has collaborated with Max Radford on a subterranean cocktail bar in London’s Soho that uses colours borrowed from Indian artworks.
    The photography is by Felix Speller and the styling by Tamsyn Mystkowski.

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