7 of London’s Most Imaginative & Green Office Developments

By Mia Brown
News • Thoughts
6th April 23

From London’s first urban farm office development to tallest engineered timber office building – we look at some of the city’s most imaginative, sustainable workspaces. They prioritise material reuse, people-first design, functionality and fun.

Plantworks | King’s Cross WC1

Plantworks is London’s first urban farm office development. Plant your work, harvest your lunch.

  • EPC B, BREEAM Excellent
  • Redevelopment of historic 1980s mirror workshop
  • Radical indoor farming scheme with state-of-the art hydroponic technology, including melons, blueberries and passionfruit for workers to harvest and enjoy
  • People-first design focused on light, spaciousness, and nature

The Bindery | Farringdon EC1

Built on the site of a bookbinder, a jewellery maker, a clockmaker and a metal workshop – inspired by the local history of ‘making’. The Bindery is what office space should be.

  • EPC A
  • Refurbishment of 1930s Art Deco building
  • High uncluttered ceilings, calming natural palette, and huge windows flood the space with light and views
  • 5 beautifully designed outdoor garden spaces designed by Chelsea Flower Show “Best in Show” landscape designer, Andy Sturgeon

Here East | Hackney E15

A playful example of post-Olympic East London regeneration. Here East provides a workplace for large and small – tech giants to craftspeople – to work and experiment.

  • EPC B, BREEAM Excellent
  • Powered by 100% renewable electricity
  • ‘The Gantry’ – 3-storey external steel frame (former air conditioning units) – now a “cabinet of curiosities for the 21st century” providing space for artist studios
  • ‘The Yard’ – facilities for outdoor cinema, markets, public events, and retro video-game bar

HYLO | Old Street EC1

In London’s Silicon roundabout, HYLO melds old and new. An ambitious “cut-and-carve” job – stripping the 16-storey 1960s block back to its concrete skeleton – while adding 13 storeys atop.

  • BREEAM Excellent, WELL Gold, WiredScore Platinum
  • 100% of existing foundations retained
  • Enhanced ventilation system with high grade filters and CO2 sensors for 100% fresh air with no recirculation
  • 11,000 sq ft of outdoor terraces created from massing cutbacks and a rooftop garden

16 Old Bailey | Farringdon EC4

Imposing and historically important, this Grade II listed building has been sensitively redeveloped to meet the demands of today’s occupants.

  • EPC A, BREEAM Excellent, WiredScore Platinum
  • Retained 92% of original structure and 74% of existing double-glazed unitised cladding
  • Sense of light and spaciousness – double height reception elegantly transformed to reflect Edwardian baroque façade
  • Informal meeting spaces with oak joinery and soft seating reminiscent of hotel lobby, welcoming visitors and creating calm

One Embankment Place | Westminster WC2

A prominent post-modern building, once so leaky it couldn’t be sufficiently pressurised to get a reading. Tired, awkward, unloved – now one of the world’s greenest.

  • EPC A, BREEAM Outstanding (96.31%): world record at the time
  • Winner 2014 BCO Best Recycled/ Refurbished Workplace
  • Tri-generation cooling, heating and power plant – fuelled by waste vegetable oil collected and locally refined by Olleco
  • Cellular offices replaced with large, uncluttered floor plates open to the atriums, allowing natural light to flood in

The Black & White Building | Shoreditch EC2

In the midst of messy, difficult Shoreditch – London’s tallest engineered timber office building. Made from 1,774 beech, spruce and pine trees. Architecturally, a massive leap in complexity.

  • Hybrid timber structure comprising beech LVL frame and CLT slabs and core. 37% less embodied carbon than comparable concrete structure (only 410 kgCO2e/m2)
  • Frame designed to be fully demountable so parts can be reused
  • Vast open-plan spaces with no structural internal partition walls to minimise visual intrusion – layout can be easily adapted
  • Each floor has its own communal kitchen area and lounge – a warm homely look and feel

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