With the conversation around heading back to offices remaining a contentious subject, the arrival of a domestically-designed flexible one is much appreciated. The Office Group’s (TOG) newest spot, United House, has popped up in London’s neighbourhood of Notting Hill with interiors by Universal Design Studio, and it is the homely alternative to our own homes.
‘The design is highly contextual and centred around humanness, in large part informed by the surrounding area’s character to create a welcoming and spirited destination for members,’ says Paul Gulati, director at Universal Design Studios. As many of us have become used to working from the sofa, this human-centric design approach is welcomed, and comes to fruition via soft furnishings that divide areas, and private office spaces that are identifiable by terrace house-style doorways with lighting.
Creamy green and muted tones of beige and grey keep this theme going – and the calming energy is further enhanced by The Office Group’s first ever Mindful Lounge, created in partnership with immersive meditation experts OPO. The area is flooded with neuro-sonic soundscapes that people can enjoy while sitting on poufs inside. Currently members can book in to enjoy a private moment of peace, but eventually this wellness spot hopes to host events, including yoga sessions and acupuncture.
Housed in a 1960s concrete-framed structure, the 41,000 sq ft space offers up panoramic views of the city on the higher floors, and colourful shop fronts of Notting Hill terraces on the lower. Like many of The Office Group’s 40 London locations, the area has a mix of private phone booths, larger meeting rooms and light-filled communal areas. Elements of the outdoors are seen inside with plants, textured mosaic tiled surfaces and timber-framed rattan screens.
While United House was in the making pre-pandemic, The Office Group’s flexible working environments offer social distancing and plenty of privacy. ‘We wanted to create a space that our members – be it businesses, local residents who might usually work from home, or our existing members with access to any of our 40 distinctively designed buildings – feel comfortable and inspired to work in,’ says Nasim Köerting, head of design at TOG.
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