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SODA Studio pays homage to Liberty London with new flexible workspace, Liberty House

Liberty House is TOG’s second collaboration with renowned architects SODA Studio. The teams worked together to adopt a 360º design approach – encompassing architecture, interiors and branding – and drawing upon the history and retail aesthetic of the building and area.

17/03/2021 3 min read

Project Team

  • Client

    TOG (The Office Group)

  • Design

    SODA Studio, The Office Group

  • Flooring

    Tarkett, Bolon, Grestec, Totzke Ltd/Gravity Flooring (Tierglobal Magnetic flooring)

  • Furniture

    Gubi, Mass Productions, Verpan, Montana, Sovet, Resident, Asplund, Menu

  • Surfaces

    Alt Rock, Durat (Palace), Forbo, Avonite,

  • Lighting

    Pholc, Lambert & Fils, Flos, God’s Own Junkyard

Liberty House’s close proximity with, and historical links to, Liberty London provided the starting point for the graphic identity and interior concept. The colours, patterns and sculpted forms within the space reference the adjacent Regent Street and Carnaby Street, as well as the iconic Liberty fabric and prints. The colour palette was created in collaboration with colour artist Adriana Jaros.

The Liberty logo was used as a starting point to generate a unique pattern which features in the branding as well as the surfaces within the scheme, including worktops and panelling. The mock-Tudor Liberty London building inspired a retail aesthetic with hand-crafted objects arranged throughout, and doors and reception desks have been given a scalloped texture to echo the fabrics and textiles sold next door.

The second influence was the Liberty House building itself – a brighter, more classically formal design compared to Liberty’s mock-tudor presentation. The overall feel of the space reflects the built grandeur, with the occasional nod to the vibrancy of Carnaby Street next door through pops of colour and playful motifs.

‘Liberty House presented the design team with an exciting opportunity to pay homage to one of fashion’s most iconic brands,’ says Nasim Köerting, TOG’s Head of Design. ‘With Liberty London achieving worldwide acclaim for its colourful prints and mastery of textiles, and considering our building is actually the former site of the department store, we had an abundance of design inspiration on our doorstep. Liberty House offers a galvanising place to collaborate and co-create, the interiors blending the timeless aesthetic of the locality with forward-thinking, contemporary design features.’

The building showcases two conceptual attitudes to contemporary workspace – Liberty House and Liberty Rooms – with separate entrances and differing internal design responses.

Liberty House contains larger spaces for collaborative work and has an overall calm aesthetic contrasted with sections of brightly-coloured painted walls, and Altrock and Durat terrazzo surfaces. The higher office floors contain more intimate meeting booths screened by curtain partitions, adding moments of playfulness along the corridors.

A collection of dedicated event spaces and meeting rooms, Liberty Room is much bolder in comparison. Richly coloured rooms of deep reds and bright yellows contrast with the more refined rooms facing Regent Street, which feature a warmer palette of beige, green and Italian furniture.

TOG and SODA commissioned light artist, God’s Own Junkyard, to create a stunning piece of neon artwork for the reception which glows from behind a translucent sheer curtain.

When considering the design of the space, top of mind for TOG and SODA was trying to retain as much of the original character as possible. From bringing the Foubert’s Place stair treads and balustrade to life, to retaining the existing antique timber herringbone floorboards – every measure was taken to make the most of what was already in place in order to reduce the project’s environmental impact.

Sourcing sustainable products was a priority, including magnetic floor tiles which can be easily re-used or recycled, and Durat worktops made from repurposed plastic.

‘With hybrid working set to become the norm, businesses are now looking for flexible solutions that enable them to combine home and office working,’ Nasim tells Mix. ‘Fundamentally, TOG offers that flexibility, whether companies want their workers to be able to access multiple buildings in various locations, or they want to turn a TOG building into their flagship office, one size does not fit all when it comes to post-pandemic working, and we’re able to accommodate that.

‘It’s this agility that gives coworking spaces a huge advantage over traditional offices, and we’ve seen a high level of enquiries from companies of all sizes, who are re-thinking their working environment ahead of the return to work.

‘Lockdown has also made us realise that our surroundings really do matter, whether we’re working or enjoying down time. Our workspaces are designed to encourage productivity and collaboration through clever use of space and inspiring aesthetics, but relaxation zones and meditation lounges are just as central to our design philosophy as meeting rooms and desks are. To thrive post-Covid, offices will need to offer more than just a place to work; they also need a place to unwind, reset and socialise with colleagues or other members.’

Photography: Jake Curtis

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