Focalis are a team of professionals with hospitality and real estate development expertise, representing investors and entrepreneurs in developing lifestyle hotels and hospitality projects in the United Kingdom and Italy.
Our forte is creating hybrid-hospitality developments which combine multiple revenue-generating businesses, such as Hotels, Serviced Apartments, Members Clubs, Serviced Offices, Restaurants and Bars within the same complex.
Maslow’s Mortimer House, a development which has been managed by Focalis’ founder, epitomizes this concept of hybrid-hospitality by offering within the same building serviced office (private and co-working), gym, restaurant, members club lounge, events spaces, meditation room and rooftop bar. Mortimer House in London’s Fitzrovia – launched in 2018 – is the first venture by investors Maslow’s and Cain International, with a second venture currently under development in a superb venue in Soho being managed by Focalis and due to open in mid-2022.
The concept is based on psychologist Abraham Maslow’s theories surrounding human motivation and happiness, exemplified in his Hierarchy of Needs which at Mortimer House is directly translated into the design narrative: as the hierarchy theorized by Maslow proceeds from physiological needs to self-actualization, so the configuration of the seven storey building progresses upward from gym and restaurant on the lower floors, to workspaces, all the way to a members’ lounge and meditation room on the top floors.
The complete refurbishment of the existing 1920’s Art Deco building has been designed by international firm AvroKO. Timber clad walls, bespoke joinery, juxtaposition of modern and vintage furnishings, together with the retention of the original parquet, mosaic and terrazzo floorings, all contribute to create a warm luxury and yet unpretentious aesthetic which makes the space feel more like a residential house than an office building. The layouts are conceived to provide a multitude of rooms some of which can be hired for exclusive use events, additionally the carefully arranged furniture creates intimate spaces within the otherwise open plan floors.
Moreover, the principles of circular economy are reflected in the extensive use of vintage pieces of FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment) which has been repaired/refurbished and reused (e.g. vintage sofas have been re-upholstered for both aesthetic reasons and to comply to office environment use) or re-purposed (e.g. vintage cabinets have been adapted to a function they have not been originally designed for, such as to provide laptop lockers for members, thus introducing an element of unexpected and subtle playfulness). This demonstrates how the extension to any product’s life (whilst not always generating per se a substantial cost benefit) reduces the overall economic and environmental costs of such product, and therefore minimizes the requirement of brand new FF&E which would carry the potential to end up in landfill at the culmination of the building’s lifecycle.
Maslow’s differs from other serviced office operators because of its emphasis on hospitality, and offers to its members an environment which feels innovative, creative, unconventional and unpretentious.
The business model is fully integrated under the same management which operates all revenue streams (F&B, office and events) as a member’s club and therefore reserved to members-only, with the exception of the restaurant and meeting rooms which are opened to the general public too.
This creates an environment where members can unwind and flexibly choose at any point during the day the degree of social interaction they desire: eat in the restaurant (which also featured on BBC’s Master Chef series) alongside the general public or being served the same meal at their desk, work from the co-working lounges or preferring the greater privacy of the bureaus, workout in a gym class or book a personal training session.
In two sectors such as serviced office and hospitality where competition is typically already very high and furthermore challenged by the current pandemic, Mortimer House’s innovative approach to symbiotically blend the two not only is demonstrating a commendable resilience to the pandemic but is also creating a new paradigm for how office life should be in flexible balance with personal life, and which surely is to become the new norm in a post pandemic world.