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Inspired by the eclectic history of the building, Brock House is set within an ‘island-like’ building in the West End, offering an oasis of calm with wellness at its core.
The Office Group has revealed the latest addition to its growing platform of design-led spaces – Brock House on Great Portland Street.
Originally the site of a church, Brock House was built as the Philharmonic Hall playing host to jazz orchestras in the early 1900s. By the 1930s, it was reopened as a grand cinema and later became an automotive showroom, all of which have influenced the design concept created in collaboration with renowned architects, SODA Studio.
Experts in flexible workspace, each TOG space offering is distinctive by design, embracing its surroundings and cultural heritage to give every building its own unique character. Brock House is no exception. Inspired by the golden age of car design and moviegoing, the material and fixtures that run throughout the eight floors give a nod to the 1930s and the cinematic history of the building.
‘Brock House presented the design team with an exciting opportunity to do something unexpected,’ says Nasim Köerting, Head of Design at TOG. ‘With the building’s eclectic history as an orchestra house, grand cinema and automotive showroom, we had an abundance of inspiration on our doorstep – but it was important that the combination of these influences worked seamlessly to create an unusually peaceful space in the bustling heart of the city. Brock House is an island of calm, enabling members to come together to collaborate and co-create.’
The ground floor is surrounded by floor to ceiling showroom style windows, while curtains break up the floorplate into spaces for socialising and collaboration or intimate meetings rooms.
These touches are echoed through a combination of restored elements and contemporary design. A striking reception desk clad in Rosso Alicante marble occupies the lounge like a car in a traditional showroom set-up, topped with brushed metal to hark back to its automotive past. This is continued in the knurled metalwork that features throughout, from the stair balustrades to the handles of the cupboards and doors.
References to the art deco cinema history begin with the building’s core – wrapped in a perpetual pleated curtain, which then reveals a lighter terrazzo lined lobby within. A palette of warm tones was used to decorate the interiors, with a rich burgundy punctuating the corridors, creating a sense of rhythm between the rooms. SODA Studio also developed bespoke graphics and signage for the spacious shared areas, such as kitchens, the fully equipped meetings rooms, and onsite members gym.
‘This richly detailed building brought with it a wonderful history of different uses to inspire a series of contemporary workspaces and communal areas,’ adds Russell Potter, Director at SODA Studio. We wanted to create a space that stands its own ground in relation to its notable BBC neighbour. The result is a delicately balanced interior that reflects the high-end surroundings of the West End.’
With the warmer months now approaching, a mansard roof extension spans the top level, providing additional amenity spaces and dramatic views across the capital. This level welcomes an abundance of natural light thanks to wraparound windows that can be opened to create an internal terrace.
TOG and SODA’s innovative design approach to Brock House also reflects the evolving needs of the workforce. Meeting rooms are fitted with state-of-the-art video conferencing capabilities, and private, sound proofed phone and focus booths are designed for better acoustics. TOG has added further private and semi-private spaces for calls and focused work to help members stay productive. The property has also been fitted with an advanced air handling system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photography: Ben Anders
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