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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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    MoreySmith turns Bristol power station into flexible workspace

    The Victorian power station that once supplied Bristol’s tram system has been transformed into a shared office space, designed by British interiors studio MoreySmith to celebrate its industrial past.

    The waterside Generator Building originally opened in 1890 to power Bristol Tramways – the electric tram system that serviced the city until it was destroyed in the second world war.
    MoreySmith was commissioned to transform the building into a flexible co-working space set over six floors, which has been shortlisted in the large workspace interior category of Dezeen Awards 2022.
    The Generator Building was renovated by MoreySmithThe new workspace includes dedicated offices, private desks and event spaces, as well as a lounge and cafe that are open to the public to ensure that the building contributes to the wider regeneration of the local neighbourhood.
    MoreySmith worked closely with Historic England to restore the once-derelict Grade II listed building, taking care to preserve original features such as the steelwork and tiled brick facade.

    The studio also retained various graphics such as the stencilling on the building’s glazed tiles and brick walls, which was used to label the four steam engines and generators housed in the power station.
    The interior references the building’s industrial pastOther aspects of the interior scheme were designed to pay homage to the building’s industrial past. This includes the aged copper cladding used on the storage lockers and quiet booths, which references the rusted metal objects found in the building during the renovation.
    A central spiral staircase is complemented with mosaic tiles, mimicking the building’s original flooring, while a bespoke lighting system that recalls industrial power generators illuminates the bar area.
    MoreySmith took care to ensure that natural light filters throughout the building’s various spaces, and that workspaces have views out across the city and waterways below.

    Weathered-steel staircase wraps plant-filled atrium at Midtown Workplace

    A double-height breakout space provides additional room for casual meetings. Flooded with natural light from a skylight above, this lofty space highlights the building’s generous proportions.
    Contemporary furnishings and an abundance of green planting were added to contrast with the raw finishes and industrial features.
    The design studio also inserted pod structures on the fifth floor to create mezzanine offices in between the building’s trusses.
    Its floors are connected by a spiral staircase”The Generator Building is a glorious example of what is possible when buildings are sensitively restored in a way that both celebrates their history while bringing new life to an existing structure,” said MoreySmith.
    Other projects shortlisted alongside the Generator Building in the large workspace interiors category of Dezeen Awards 2022 include Dyson’s global HQ inside St James Power Station in Singapore.
    Also in the running is the Midtown Workplace in Brisbane, which features a plant-filled atrium wrapped by a weathered-steel staircase.
    The photography is by Fiona Smallshaw.

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    Semba Corporation creates own office interior from reclaimed materials

    Interior construction firm Semba Corporation has renovated the interior of its headquarters in Tokyo to include reclaimed materials discarded during the demolition of other offices.

    The company’s redesign of its own office interior is shortlisted in the sustainable interior category for the upcoming Dezeen Awards, which will announce its winners next month.
    The interior is made from materials salvaged from demolished officesCalled Semba Good Ethical Office, the project features various pared-back tables, seating and shelving created from materials salvaged from previous office demolitions.
    This furniture is positioned across a single open-plan space in Japan’s capital, which is brightly illuminated by overhead lighting and rectilinear windows.
    Plinth-like seating and stairs forms a centrepieceA plinth-like centrepiece takes the form of both a staircase and a designated desk area, which was formed from boxy arrangements of surplus wood and old filing cabinets.

    Semba Corporation centred the interiors around two principles – “ethical” and “hackable” design – in order to complete the project, the company said.
    Semba Corporation applied its own design principles to the project”To incorporate ‘ethical design’, a circular interior design [theory], into the office renovation, we mined materials from unnecessary stuff generated by office demolitions,” Semba Corporation told Dezeen.
    “Under the theme of ‘hackable design’, we can redefine our working style and attitudes. We completely renovated our office to be friendly to the Earth, people and society,” explained the firm.
    Reconstituted foam was used to create padding on benchesAccording to the company, 80 per cent of the furniture in the Semba Good Ethical Office is reused, while the office achieved a waste-recycling rate of 99 per cent.
    Reconstituted foam was used to create the padding on benches that make up informal meeting booths, while various offcuts of wood were used to construct geometric shelves throughout the interior.

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    Semba Corporation explained that it hopes that other firms will begin to adopt similar design principles when creating their office interiors.
    “Especially in Japan, the lifespan from construction to demolition and disposal has become very short since [increasing] economic growth, and waste has been dumped in landfill,” the firm said.
    “However, Japanese culture has originally valued attachment to things and has an aesthetic sense to continue to use them with creative ideas. So I think our principles have an affinity to that culture.”
    “We hope that ‘ethical design,’ a future-friendly interior design, will be a basic principle in interior design for the future.”
    Reclaimed wood was used to form various shelvingSemba Good Ethical Office joins a group of existing self-designed studios that other firms have created to be more sustainable than the average office, according to the companies.
    These include German studio Urselmann Interior’s renovation of its studio to include biodegradable, recycled or upcycled materials.
    The images are courtesy of Semba Corporation.

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    M Moser Associates transforms historic power station in Singapore into Dyson HQ

    International practice M Moser Associates has repurposed a former power station in Singapore to create the global headquarters for technology company Dyson, with interiors blending the station’s industrial heritage with contemporary materials.

    The transformation provides Dyson with 140,000 square feet (13,006 square metres) of office space. The design was both shortlisted and recently named public vote winner in the large workspace interior category of Dezeen Awards 2022.
    Amphitheatre-style seating encourages informal gatheringOriginally built in 1926 in the Edwardian style, the coal-fired St James Power Station was Singapore’s first municipal power plant and remains an important heritage landmark, decommissioned in 1976 and used as a warehouse for nearly two decades.
    During the transformation of Singapore’s industrial harbourfront into a commercial area in the 1990s, the plant became a bustling nightlife venue before closing in 2018, with the project to redevelop it beginning in 2019.
    A sculptural spiral staircase frames the former turbine hallThe focal point of M Moser Associates’ design was the former turbine hall, which has been used to create a dramatic, four-storey atrium framed by exposed black steelwork and a sculptural spiral staircase.

    Sheltered underneath tall trees in raised planters that double as desks, a cafe sits alongside an area of amphitheatre-style seating to encourage informal gathering.
    Employees enter through the turbine hall”A dramatic four-storey industrial space, inspired by the quadrangles of university campuses, this central space serves as a circulation hub, connecting all areas,” explained the practice.
    “Employees enter the Turbine Hall as they head to work, [and] are greeted with a symbolic reminder of the building’s new revitalised purpose – to spark design and technological innovation,” it continued.
    M Moser Associates created a mixture of spaces insideOrganised around this central space, four levels are zoned into a mixture of offices, laboratories, and social spaces, designed to provide a range of more private, quiet spaces and collaborative areas.
    On the top floor, spaces benefit from higher ceilings underneath the exposed, black steel trusses of the plant’s roof structure, and above this, a landscaped rooftop terrace provides external gathering space overlooked meeting rooms with full-height glazing.

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    Externally, the building’s brick and paintwork has been restored with Dyson’s logo emblazoned on a chimney, and the new material choices seek to reference this industrial heritage.
    A simple palette of dark stone, wood and metal complements and celebrates the contrast with the exposed structure, such as in an atmospheric meeting room housed at the base of one of the brick chimneys.
    An atmospheric meeting room is housed at the base of one of the brick chimneys”Concrete flooring and black metal speak of the building’s past, while technical materials like polycarbonate, metal mesh and mirrored cladding announce its new future,” said the practice.
    “This sympathetically repurposed building is a rare example of architectural renewal and urban sustainability,” it continued.
    Concrete flooring “speaks of the building’s past”In London, another historic coal-fired plant – the iconic Battersea Power Station – has recently reopened following an extensive redevelopment by WilkinsonEyre, and now houses shops, office space and apartments.
    The images are courtesy of M Moser Associates. 

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    Weathered-steel staircase wraps plant-filled atrium at Midtown Workplace

    Weathered-steel balconies with cascading plants wrap the skylit atrium at the centre of this office in Brisbane, refurbished by Australian studio Cox Architecture.

    Named Midtown Workplace, the office occupies the top nine floors of a development that has been created by merging two separate towers in the Australian capital into a single building.
    The project has been shortlisted in the large workspace interior category of Dezeen Awards 2022.
    Cox Architecture has refurbished the Midtown Workplace in BrisbaneUsing the idea of connectivity between the two towers as a starting point, Cox Architecture created a stepped concrete auditorium at the base of the office called “The Pit”, with bridge links above based on the idea of an internal high street.
    “The tower is a story of two halves, two existing towers connected as one, old structures connected with new,” said the studio.

    It features an atrium with cascading plants”Our approach to the workplace celebrated this, with the void and bridge links positioned as the connecting piece between two existing towers,” it continued.
    At either side of Midtown Workplace’s central, skylit atrium, the cores of the existing towers have been used to house circulation and smaller meeting rooms, surrounded by areas of flexible workspace.
    A stepped concrete auditorium sits at the baseBanks of desks and booths are complemented by more informal seating areas at different points along the office’s “high street”, such as benches installed alongside planters and stools overlooking the atrium.
    “The new workplace explores an alternative to standard workspaces, creating a diverse and blended model that is supported by a high proportion of hackable, collaborative areas,” said Cox Architecture.

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    “Thirty per cent of the primary work points are moveable, affording teams complete autonomy and control over their workspace,” it continued.
    In The Pit, curved concrete amphitheatre-style seating dotted with planters faces a presentation space with views of the city as its backdrop. It is overlooked by all of the atrium’s balconies, creating a “magnet for cultural exchange.”
    Cox Architecture used a material palette with earthy tonesMidtown Workplace’s material palette adopts earthy tones drawn from the exposed concrete and orangey-brown weathered steel.
    The bare concrete is complemented by exposed metalwork and services across the office ceilings.
    The ceilings have exposed metalwork and servicesOther projects that have been shortlisted in the large workspace interior category of Dezeen Awards 2022 include the Design District Bureau Club in London by Roz Barr Architects, and the Dyson Global HQ in Singapore by M Moser Associates.
    Elsewhere, Cox Architecture is currently developing an airport in Sydney with Zaha Hadid Architects and recently completed The National Maritime Museum of China, which features a cluster of hull-like roofs.

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    “We've developed a movement towards silence” says Still Room designer

    Hotels and offices could improve the well-being of occupants by introducing “still rooms” says Cédric Etienne, co-founder of Belgian design office Studio Corkinho.

    The Still Room concept developed by Antwerp-based Studio Corkinho imagines a type of room where people go specifically to enjoy the benefits of silence.
    Etienne believes hospitality brands can use these rooms to offer a new type of well-being experience to their guests, while employers could use them to provide a greater level of care to their staff.
    Cédric Etienne is co-founder of Antwerp-based Studio Corkinho”A still room offers a place to do just nothing,” he said, “a space where you can welcome silence or just the luxury of not being distracted.”
    Etienne – who co-founded Studio Corkinho with creative director Klas Dalquist – made the comments at The Lobby, a hospitality design conference held in Copenhagen in August.

    The interior designer was there to present Studio Corkinho’s pilot still room, created in 2020 when the designers converted a room in the former Noorderpershuis power station in Antwerp into a space for meditative contemplation.
    Studio Corkinho created its first still room in Antwerp in 2020The room hosts individual visits, but also yoga practice, tea ceremonies and study groups from the University of Antwerp.
    “We’ve developed a movement towards silence in our city,” Etienne said.
    Studio Corkinho has since been consulting with hotel brands on how to create still rooms for hospitality.
    The studio has been working with brands to design still rooms for hotels and resortsEtienne said still rooms could become a typical amenity in luxury hotels and resorts, just as you might find a gym or a library. These rooms could host yoga, meditation and other well-being activities, he suggests.
    “A still mind is actually more important today than ever before,” he said.
    “There’s a huge opportunity for the hospitality experience to redefine how we care about guests and how we offer them something more valuable than just a brand experience.”
    The studio has created a library of design templatesStudio Corkinho has developed a library of still-room design templates, along with a palette of appropriate materials and textures. It also advises brands on how to integrate a sense of ritual into the guest experience.
    “It’s not just thinking about the design and the aesthetics, but also how to activate the space,” said Etienne.
    “We’re trying to create awareness about the opportunities there are for hospitality,” he continued. “We could create a network of these kinds of still places.”
    Studio Corkinho is also exploring how still rooms can be created in officesSpeaking to Dezeen after the conference, Etienne said that the studio had received positive feedback from hospitality clients and was now being approached by employers looking to improve well-being in the office.
    He suggested that meeting rooms could be transformed into still rooms, to give employees a space where they can take time out from their work and recharge their batteries.

    Still Room in Antwerp is designed to be a “shelter for the mind”

    “Considering the overload of distraction, still rooms help employees to step away from distraction and travel inward in order to perform better in their daily work challenges,” he said.
    “From the employer’s side, this shows a positive message to their teams, to generate a more stable work-life balance. Improving productivity at work means more happiness and more time out of the office.”
    Still rooms can be used for meditative activities like tea ceremonies or yoga practiceThe concept draws on Etienne’s own experiences of visiting Buddhist monasteries and traditional teahouses in Japan, and the impact these experiences had on his personal well-being.
    He believes these experiences are increasingly important in a world where digital devices and social media create a constant stream of information.
    “The core aspect of the still room is to learn how to shut out the world, in order to connect on a deeper level with ourselves, a project or an experience,” he added.
    The photography is by Piet Albert Goethals. Visualisations are by Studio Corkinho.

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    Superimpose Architecture creates subterranean conference centre based on Victorian shopping arcade

    Superimpose Architecture used a traditional shopping-arcade typology to transform the dark basement of a commercial development in Hangzhou, China, into The Arcade conference centre.

    Designed to appeal to a young audience, The Arcade is a subterranean space made up of a wide L-shaped corridor lined with meeting rooms, a cafe, a lobby and an auditorium.
    The Arcade is a subterranean conference centre that was designed by Superimpose ArchitectureInserted between structural concrete columns, the spaces have white facades that resemble shop fronts.
    When designing the centre, Rotterdam and Beijing-based Superimpose Architecture looked to the design of traditional shopping arcades that were popular in Europe from the 18th to the 20th century.
    Wide L-shaped corridors are lined with work and social facilitiesThe Victorian arcades typically connected two busy streets and were lined on both sides with shops sitting under a series of arches supported by a colonnade.

    Lit by daylight funnelled in through glass skylights, the shopping arcades served as protected indoor retail environments and social gathering spaces.
    To combat the lack of natural light in The Arcade conference centre, Superimpose Architecture inserted two long linear “floating” acrylic ceiling boxes that mimic the colour and intensity of natural daylight along the ceiling of its two main corridors.

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    “The light boxes have an immediate visual impact in the basement and serve as a clear indicator for circulation,” said Superimpose Architecture. “The two axes can also be used as exhibition space.”
    Each conference room was given a distinct character through the use of different colours, light fixtures and materials.
    Acrylic ceiling boxes mimic natural daylightThe seating in the large auditorium is organised in a semi-circle that runs the entire length of the space to create a forum-like setting.
    Linear light boxes follow the seating arrangement, while wooden louvres and red carpet help to improve acoustics and add warmth. The facade of the auditorium can be fully opened, allowing the room to expand and become part of the entrance area for events.
    Other subterranean office interiors include this silver-coloured office extension in Munich and an office in London with a “speak-easy style” basement.

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    Neri&Hu creates “nomadic” office interiors for Shanghai media company

    Chinese architecture studio Neri&Hu has designed a flexible office space in Shanghai for the changing needs of media company Red+Plus Studio’s employees.

    The Shanghai-based studio stripped back the 529-square-metre space, located on the second floor of a factory building within a former industrial campus, by removing numerous layers of previous renovations.
    The concrete structure is exposed in the office’s central spaceThe concrete structure of the building was left exposed throughout with a number of columns breaking up a large multi-use space at the centre of the office.
    Large steps within this space can be used as seating for presentations with a hidden projector placed in the roof.
    The existing skylights were used to light the desksTwo stainless-steel structures enclose meeting rooms alongside this main space, while private offices are arranged alongside it.

    A room with stainless-steel desks, which is lit by six pre-existing skylights in the sloping roof, stretches along one edge of the room.
    “With the strength of the building’s original character revealed, any additions to the space were carefully applied in layers that allow what is behind to coexist, inhabiting the liminal space between past and present,” explained the studio.
    A hidden projector can be lowered to create a screening roomThe studio used “nomad” as the design concept, based on the client’s request for flexible working spaces.
    Spaces were designed so that they can serve multiple functions, with several sliding doors created to provide flexibility and allow the company to alter the workspace dependent on future needs.

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    “Much like the itinerant populations that move between cities to offer specialized services, the people working for and with this agency needed their spaces to transform according to various scenarios,” said the studio.
    Stainless steel and frosted glass were widely used throughout the space to contrast the concrete structure and reflect the changing usage. Galvanized steel and mesh were selected as they will change colour over time.
    Various office rooms are placed at the edge of the main spaceNeri&Hu’s other recent projects include a courtyard house in Singapore and a guesthouse wrapped in metal mesh in Shenzhen.
    The photography is by Zhu Runzi.
    Project credits:
    Partners-in-charge: Lyndon Neri, Rossana HuAssociate: Siyu ChenDesign team: Jerry Guo, Kenneth Qiao, Jinghan Li, Ath Supornchai, Kany Liu, Greg WuFF&E design and procurement: Design RepublicContractor: Shanghai Idea Mechanics Interior Designers Contractors

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