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Designing for small businesses in the heart of Farringdon

  • 2,500 SQ FT
Project team

The floors of 18-20 St John Street are a combination of bright, loft-like spaces beckoning small businesses and start-ups in from the streets of Farringdon. Characterised by a charming blend of high ceilings and architectural beams, traditional stained-glass windows, and extensive glass walls overlooking the chimney stacks of residential properties and old warehouses, the spaces are delightful and unforgettable.

The Peldon Rose Landlord team have seamlessly integrated a new ready-to-work design into the space, working with existing structures and a soft, neutral colour palette to emphasise the building’s originality. The result provides opportunities for new and smaller companies to penetrate the office environment.

Our works extended to levels 2 and level 4 within the building, built at the same time, yielding cost efficiencies in procurement and site management for the client Landlord. By way of recognition of a great design, good marketing and impeccable timing, level 2 was secured on a pre-let basis and occupied immediately on completion of the works programme.

The fourth floor

A room with a view

The entrance focuses on welcoming visitors into the space, creating pockets of rest and socialisation for employees. Half-height, barn-style doors sit beneath ecclesiastical stained-glass windows, and open to emit fresh air and soft sounds of the busy streets below.

The ambience in the entrance is relaxed, and sophisticated. Furniture is modest, with clean lines and soft tone variants to match the colours in the stained glass overhead. The floors, put in by Peldon Rose, are a pale engineered oak, and all existing wall finishes have been left, including white weathered metro tiles and a mixture of yellow and whitewash bricks.

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Colour matching the existing stained glass windows with furnishings throughout the office helps design cohesion

The trim of the door has been reshaped to fit around existing structural beams

Engineered oak floors create a polished first impression, and are a cost effective and durable design decision

Seeing those windows was lightbulb moment that we could do something pretty cool here. Be it an informal meeting, a relaxed waiting area, or even somewhere to socialise on a sunny Friday afternoon with a drink in hand, the space we designed is inherently versatile and allows the building’s original elements to take centre stage.

Tia Brooks, Graduate Designer

Harmony with existing architectures

An exciting challenge in the space was to work with existing structures, especially the positioning of the structural beams in the reception area. The team have created a new meeting room by bolting a glass wall to an original beam, and building a sloped ceiling which matches the gradient of existing struts to create an enclosed room. The door has a bespoke fitting and acoustic solution designed to accommodate imperfections on the beam.

Within the room is a charming feature wall of exposed brick, untouched by the design team. The AV mounting, an acoustic wooden slat panel, is informed by this; the panels are vertical to subtly distinguish new from existing design. The wooden finish matches the natural, untouched look of the exposed brick.

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Meeting room chairs on wheels provide adaptability and agility

The radiator and air conditioning unit provides a centralised control system to regulate temperatures

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Designing to maximise natural light

The second half of the floorplate is flooded with sunlight and views of the outside world, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Desks are anchored here to capitalise on the benefits and comfort of being exposed to natural light. Placing them to the left of the floorplate leaves a corridor for employees to walk to the tea point, and aligns with the fire exit and disability access route.

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Biophilia and plentiful natural light around the workplace boost morale, productivity, and wellbeing

The teapoint is designed at the end of the office to create an intuitive user journey, and capitalise on existing water works

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User journey throughout the office

Situated just a short walk away from Farringdon station and nestled amongst cobbled streets lined with independent eateries, 18-20 St John Street is well catered for with local amenities. To maximise on space versatility, the tea point was therefore kept small and simple, and worked with the positioning of existing water pipes. The kitchen sits at the end of the floorplate, with everything coming before, from the social reception space to the desking flooded with natural light and sky views, leading the user on an intuitive journey throughout the space.

Even the furniture is chosen with the user in mind. Seats and coffee tables have thin legs so that flow and visibility through the space is uninterrupted. Their lightweight nature creates transience and versatility – it’s easy to pick up the pieces for cleaning purposes, or to accommodate varying numbers of colleagues congregating in any one area.

The client’s brief was fully considered and a flexible design produced and delivered on site to compliment the space. One floor went under offer during the project, with lots of interest in the one remaining floor. Project completed on budget and to the timeframes to meet with the new letting – fantastic job.

Project Manager, Property Consultant
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