‘Game-changing’ office concept launches in London

5 September 2017 | By James Kenny

The £76m White Collar Factory has been officially launched and is aiming to be a game changer in London’s office market.

Designed by architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) for contractor Multiplex, the building overlooks Silicon Roundabout in Old Street, London.

The low-cost, low-energy and low-carbon building offers an innovative user-focused design approach that could become a blueprint for future workplace design.

White Collar Factory is a complex of six buildings at Old Street Yard, which includes offices, studios, incubator space, restaurants and apartments, set around a new area of public realm, with a 16-storey tower topped by a 150m rooftop running track.

The scheme is located next to Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout

The 27,200 sq m mixed-use development is the culmination of an eight-year research project led by AHMM director Simon Allford and Simon Silver and Paul Williams, directors of developer Derwent London, working in collaboration with engineering firms AKT II and Arup. 

The research analysed why 19th century warehouses and factory buildings have enjoyed such longevity, and how these structures could inform and inspire a sustainable development.

The overall concept of the 16-storey building centres on tried and tested environmental principles: large open floors and tall ceilings for flexibility and good daylight; an exposed concrete structure for thermal mass; and natural ventilation to reduce energy consumption.

Central to achieving a better indoor air quality is the skin of the building itself. It is wrapped in a facade where shading, glazing, openings, and insulation are tailored to respond to each elevation’s orientation to the sun, which means each facade is designed differently.

Large open floors and tall ceilings offer flexibility and good daylight

AHMM drew inspiration for the new build tower from the work of French designer Jean Prouvé, whose design ethos was led by logic, balance and purity.

Designed to achieve more with less, the pragmatic, hard-working design of the tower is guided by the principles that nothing needs to be added, nothing can be taken away, and every element performs one or more function.

Simon Silver, director, Derwent London, said: “We are delighted to launch White Collar Factory – our most progressive project to date. It is the culmination of years of thought, research, design development and collaboration with our design team to produce a new type of sustainable workplace for London.

“Now 87% prelet with most of the remaining space under offer, it is proof of London‘s demand for innovation.”

Key White Collar Factory tenants include The Office Group, Adobe and Capital One and a number of new restaurant concepts will be opening from late 2017.

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