As London’s fast-growing network of creative co-working spaces for start-ups and freelancers, the Workspace Group is constantly looking at ways to create flexible spaces for multi-faceted requirements. Studio TILT designed the new spaces, located at The Leathermarket, London Bridge, and One Quality Court, Chancery Lane, incorporating a design language that breaks the traditional mould for a coworking space – suited to building typology and user need, rather than an identikit of aesthetics.
Studio TILT was responsible for all design aspects from the architectural design, lighting design, furniture to specification. Building on the success of its first two Club Workspace spaces, Club Bankside and Club Chiswick, Studio TILT applied fresh thinking as part of its commitment to iteration, innovation and best practice, to help inform the design of the two new clubs. “We learned a great deal about the experimentation and post occupancy studies from the two initial clubs that guided us to a more intuitive, user centred and flexible use of the new spaces,” explains Oliver Marlow, Creative Director.
“Codesign shapes environments that help define work communities by encouraging discussion, exploring perspectives and interpreting the results,” explains Marlow. “Spaces should never be fixed as they are constantly changing and need to be flexible for different uses. We create intuitive cues within the space so the user can transform the space for their own purpose.”
The Leathermarket’s 450m² space within the historic Leather Exchange near London Bridge is the new ‘King of Clubs’ for the growing Club Workspace empire. The starting point for the design was to capture the historical qualities of the buildings while ensuring clever re-use and appropriate elements of the existing club, to avoid unnecessary waste, highlighting design iteration.
Through researching the etchings and illustrations from the original Leather Exchange all architectural elements were inspired by the machines and apparatus from this time. These were reinvented from a 19th Century industrial context into a distinct contemporary working environment.
Preserving many original features of the space was a key element in the overall design aesthetic. The floor featuring hieroglyphics and scarring from over 200 years of use was carefully restored with a clear matt varnish. The existing ceiling was sandblasted back to the original oak joist structure and bespoke wall lighting created in the form of copper tubing complements the age of the property. Joinery items come in the form of oiled softwood, cedar decking and a listed wall clad in cedar shingles. Old and new are juxtaposed through Troldekt board acting as an infill panel.
The new design creates a strong sense of place, referencing the historic qualities of the buildings and accommodates 24hr usage with a flexible design that can change throughout the working day.
Studio TILT designed bespoke lighting and furniture tailored specifically for the space and its changing requirements. The Club also includes some of the Studio’s trademark designs such as the Fruit&Nut tables, the Call and the Suitcase Desk – all in new finishes.
Meanwhile at One Quality Court, Club Chancery Lane, nestled within a Conservation Area, an inspiring co-working space now balances an informal, collegiate atmosphere with a highly effective business environment. The dynamic and flexible interior incorporates a private meeting space, singular workstations, co-working desks and relaxed lounging areas, all elegantly fitted into a modest floorplate.
The brief was to push the existing boundaries of coworking spaces as this location, targeting a new community including legal professionals and midtown workers. The challenge was to experiment with new spatial topologies and expand the Club’s offering with more singular work locations, new orientation of work and meeting areas for members that were open, visible yet inclusive and private. Balancing the existing space within the building with the required use, Studio TILT had to radically re-think the entrance and five-storey atrium space while also incorporating flexible workspace as part of the 170m2 Club nestled within.
Materials were carefully chosen to create a unique working environment that would cater for a range of working types. Black Noraplan Uni floor and intelligent lighting design by Studio TILT themselves was incorporated to give the space a comfortable yet high quality finish. The lounge area allows the host to alter the light and ambiance of the space through the Wi-Fi at the touch of a button. The space also includes two rugs in a Rubens Boucle, alongside the ‘Quiet’ and ‘Call’ furniture, all designed by Studio TILT.
Linking the lounge to the main club area is a birch ply touchdown bench with a clear Osmo oiled finish. The rich ply continues the length of the room along the atrium wall. Nestled within this ‘Library Wall’ are four windows seats upholstered in Linwood fabric and softened with cushions and task lighting by Gras. Here users can sit and relax with a view of both the club and the newly designed Atrium.
Arguably the most distinguishing feature in the club is the coworking desk that wraps and intersects the run of columns that characterise the space. The oak veneered desk cleverly makes use of the columns to create individual working zones along a continuous length of desk. The elegant oak joinery fits effortlessly around the dark grey painted columns and each working space is lit by Anglepoise Duo 1227 wall mounted lamp.