One of London’s most important buildings, originally designed by Foster + Partners, opened in 1991 at 200 Gray’s Inn Road. Home to well-known TV production companies like ITN Productions, ITV and Warner Bros, the facility houses a number of prestigious offices. International architecture and design studio Conran and Partners, founded by designer Sir Terence Orby Conran and known worldwide for inspiring new models and lifestyles, redesigned the ground floor on behalf of Great Portland Estates (GPE), which owns the entire building. The need to modernize the interiors reflected the desire to adapt the spaces to changing cultural conditions that impact modern working patterns, which are increasingly oriented towards reconciling professional activity with leisure time.
Conran and Partners’ work transformed an area previously used as a conventional office reception to change the way users perceive the premises. In order to achieve these goals, it was essential to understand how to establish a strong connection between the external and internal urban environment, and to break down barriers between public and private. In addition to the renovated reception area, the project also features a cafeteria for use by office staff, visitors and passers-by, which together with meeting spaces offers numerous opportunities for socializing and encouraging people to frequent and experience the building’s ground floor. All rooms are connected continuously, highlighting a desire to facilitate connections between various types of user. A large table for coworking sessions sits in the lobby, encouraging staff to use the surrounding area as an extension of their office. The
ten-floor architectural complex is characterized by simple yet resistant materials such as concrete, granite, aluminum and glass, to which the designers have added complementary materials like metal, wood and leather. Lighting is via devices installed within concrete structural elements, respecting and supplementing the building’s pre-existing characteristics. Oak wood partition walls and panels create a warm, natural atmosphere that contrasts with the cold, uncomfortable lighting of traditional office environments. One element that characterizes and distinguishes the hall is the green wall at the far end, configured as a focal point and source of
wellbeing for all guests. To ensure that the vegetation remains lush and healthy, special UV lamps were installed along the wall to stimulate luxuriant growth.
Simon Kincaid, a Partner at Conran and Partners, says the approach behind the intervention was to maintain the spirit of the original design by taking cues from already-existing elements, maximizing the use of space and, as far as possible, avoiding work on the internal structure.
Location: London, UK
Client: Great Portland Estates
Completion Date: 2019
Gross Floor Area: 670 m2
Architect: Ian McArdle Architects
Fit out: Conran and Partners
Main Contractor: Mace Interiors
Structural: Heyne Tillett Steel
Mechanical: Norman Disney & Young
Customized Lighting Systems: Zumtobel
Photography by Anna Stathaki, courtesy of Conran and Partners
In this special issue we cover a variety of projects, ranging from the hospitality industry to the services sector, with an interesting detour into the nautical world. Architects and designers around the globe have succeeded in shaping classic and co... Read More