This office extension was done by Emrys Architects in the pre war historic building Georgian Streets in London. During the second world war, the building was restored in the series of strange extensions. Some areas resulted in being inappropriate for any use except storage. The GMS real estate property agency has acquired the property for the own headquarters project and has challenged the architects to identify the best way of the space usage despite all the constraints.
Architects came with well thought but still out-of-the-box solution: to retain the existing terrace in between the extensions and to introduce an entirely new structure in the tight inner buildings space to the rear to create a dramatic transition from old to the new.
The new structure is on two levels and is accessible from the Georgian terrace at both lower ground and ground floors. The work spaces have been assigned in a way to allow departments to occupy clearly demised areas, yet still, allow full connectivity between groups. Work spaces are positioned in areas that have the best natural light and access to the outside courtyards. There are no physical divisions between each place that creates an open flow in the office.
The structure is made up of a series of folded self-supported triangular elements retained by a continuous light-weight steel ring beam. Triangular roof lights are placed outside this ring beam and allow light to penetrate down to the lower ground floor creating a drustic effect on the white office ceiling “cracks.”
Architects revealed the source of the design inspiration: they confessed that the roof heights come from the actual heights of key points around the perimeter of the inner yard.
The contemporary folded roof form is complemented by the use of a copper texture that harmonizes with existing townhouse bricks.
The client wished to break out from the confined spaces of the Georgian terrace to allow easier communication between each other while retaining some delineation between departments.
As this is a listed building, the Architects had to coordinate each original decision with the local authorities. As the outcome, some elements had to be retained, but the architects managed to give another creative twist around it so space could flow and a tandem of old and new could be reinforced. For example, at the entrance of the office property, you could face with the big brick-arched structure featuring heavy steel door. Architects used it as a departure point for placing unconventional meeting room.