Prominently located next to Tech City’s Old Street roundabout, Albert House is home to a new design-led co-working space for London, designed by Ben Adams Architects for The Office Group (TOG), a British pioneer of shared workspaces.
The refurbishment turns a tired 1980s office building into a visual feast, combining a warehouse aesthetic with the speakeasy vibe of 1920s Chicago. The building is home to a range of businesses, from start ups and SMEs to larger corporate names such as BGL Group (Compare the Market).
Architect Ben Adams said:
“This is a bespoke building for tech city; a workplace, somewhere to meet, learn and to grow your company. A secret interior world behind a striking façade makes for a special place in which to work.”
The dark façade of Albert House gives nothing away of its luminous interior. On entering through an unadorned doorway, visitors encounter a large open reception and bar, with a sky-lit void filling the space with daylight from the five floors above. There is also a workroom and a screening area for movies and presentations. This ‘cinema’ fills a void above an underground substation to make good use of dead space. This floor is connected to the one above by a new delicate metal staircase, which leads workers to a clubroom designed for agile working, private meetings and quiet collaboration.
The speakeasy design motifs continue throughout the building and create a unified aesthetic across the different zones. Metal screens give a sense of discrete enclosure, with repeating geometric patterns continuing across floors and walls. A second entrance on Singer Street leads into a newer part of the building that has two shopfront offices to showcase the talents of the companies contained within. The entire building forms a secret world behind a plain facade.
The upper levels house growing businesses, from two to 20 people. Two roof gardens on the third floor and sixth floor give shared breathing space to all the building tenants with views out across the east London skyline.
Charlie Green, co-CEO, The Office Group, added:
“Just a few steps from the Silicon Roundabout, Albert House is an iconic building of Shoreditch and we wanted to create a workspace that lives up to it.
“Our offering is for businesses, from entrepreneurs to larger corporations, who want an inspirational and flexible workspace at the heart of Tech City.”
The ethos of this project is part of TOG’s wider vision to create brilliant workspaces for start-ups, small businesses and larger companies, all of which like to work in an environment conducive to collaboration.