Explore the latest projects from the UK’s commercial interiors industry, featuring the best of workspace, hospitality, living and public sectors.

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MCM unites Anglo American and De Beers at new sustainable workplace

MCM’s transformation of 17 Charterhouse Street has recycled a collection of disparate 70s buildings into a modern, sustainably-driven and inclusive global HQ.

13/04/2022 2 min read

Project Team

  • Interior Design and Architecture


  • Fit-out

    BW: Workplace Experts

  • Furniture Provider


  • Flooring

    Havwoods, Marazzi, Milliken, J&J Flooring, Quadrant, Altro

  • Lighting

    Flos, Zero Lighting, DPA Lighting

  • Ceiling

    Stil Acoustics, SAS Kvadrat Soft Cell, Hunter Douglas

  • Wall Finishes

    Chelsea Artisans, Cemento

  • Furniture

    Menu, Gubi, Viccarbe La Palma, Workbench, Knoll, Muuto, Pedrali, Icons of Denmark, Established & Sons, Modus, VG&P, Davidson Highley, Brunner, Dare Studio

A re-invented modern ‘campus’ forms the new global headquarters for leaders in mining and diamond production, Anglo American and De Beers – with a collaborative, social ‘heart’ and courtyard helping to unite two very different businesses in a new purpose-built workplace.

MCM’s scheme has sustainability and wellbeing at its heart – consisting of a back-to-frame ‘deep refurbishment’ of the original building, additional new-build extensions, as well as a complete re-cladding of the building to revolutionise its performance and its perception. Sustainable initiatives with new smart technology and green roofs are integrated throughout, while a series of terraces and external spaces offer alternative work and socialising settings.

Creating a new headquarters that reused and recycled a significant part of an existing building was paramount to the brief and Group vision, according to the team at MCM. Modern systems and technology have been embraced to limit the energy footprint of the building and how it is used – including the building and water being heated via air source heat pumps, 60 photovoltaic solar panels, LED lighting with daylighting and motion sensors, hydrogen fuel cell technology powering the coffee bar, with any additional electricity needed from the grid being 100% from renewable resources. Rainwater and grey harvesting systems are used throughout the building, watering the external landscaping to the terraces and courtyard, and the green spaces feature planting to support biodiversity in the urban environment. Not surprising then, that the scheme achieved a BREEAM Excellent score.

The design language uses a shared palette of refined materials and considered unique details, uniting both Anglo American and De Beers and providing a base for both brands to build on and create their individual identities – described as ‘authentic minimalism and refined elegance.’

As the first impression of any global HQ, the ground floor reception space was highly considered, and initial impact focuses on transparency through the reception space to the hospitality facilities. The reception also becomes a gallery space that hints at what is an extensive art collection – including David Hockney, Damian Hirst and Tracey Emin.

According to MCM, it was always central to the brief that the design was ‘people led,’ to create an inclusive diverse culture that encourages collaboration and innovative thinking. “As people carefully return from the COVID pandemic, this new destination has re-ignited its people’s energy and enthusiasm for work – a place to be proud of,” the team comments. “As occupancy rates continue to increase post-pandemic, colleagues have embraced the flexible and collaborative ways of working that the space and technology provide. The adaptability of the design has been utilised through spaces for hybrid and in-person events internally, to the courtyard or terraces for a food truck lunch special for colleagues – there is always something different and unexpected to enjoy. An address rich in ambition, distinction and innovation, the next chapter in the history of 17 Charterhouse Street has begun.”

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