“Tucked amongst the quiet lanes of Hammersmith, Nex’s recently completed refurbishment has transformed an unloved mews into a playfully considered office space for landscape architect Marcus Barnett and his growing team. Promoting an ethos of healthy and positive workspaces, Fluid Workspace is shaped by both the practice’s familiarity with sensitive historic settings and a desire to provide flexibly programmed spaces as platforms for social interaction.
With the building dating back to the early 1900s, Nex’s primary challenge was retaining the essence of a building’s character and its relationship with the streetscape, while creating a sequence of spaces that both reflect the company’s personality and suit the team’s pragmatic requirements. Actively demonstrating a commitment to promoting well-being at work, Fluid Workspace strives to develop this healthy work-life balance through its design, where a clear distinction between the primary workspace on the loft-like first floor and the social gathering spaces below, features at the core of the space.
With the client keen to embrace references to the landscape, the material palette is raw and almost geologic in nature, a carefully considered and far from cliched nod to the client’s profession. Treated very simply, timber features as a key component, with birch and poplar used in the joinery and bespoke oak furniture populating the spaces.
The refurbishment preserves the mews’ original simplicity in shape and the organisation across two floors. In seeking to enhance the existing fabric and features, one of Nex’s most significant alterations involved the bold removal of an intermediate wall between two units, which resulted in an increasingly open-plan layout that is flooded with sunlight.
Timber features as a key component, which can be seen in the hand-crafted ceiling that brings the team ‘under one roof’ on the first floor. Made from individual timber slats, each is marked with a series of notches. When suspended, the notches come together to form an undulating line, reminiscent of the curves and contours found in nature. Their shape and arrangement were derived from various iterations, allowing these to be easily and precisely hand-cut.
The impactful ceiling design engages with the positioning of the original, restored skylights, to gently filter natural light into the space, creating a feeling of openness and encouraging a productive work environment.
To move away from the culture of staff eating at their desks, a large dining table invites all team members to eat together in a casual and friendly environment – the table even transforms into a ping-pong table.
Upstairs, the loft space houses the one large, communal workspace, offering staff the option to collaborate and easily communicate or keep to their individual work stations. To one end, a glazed screen creates acoustic privacy for meetings, while maintaining a sense of transparency that reflects the team’s work ethic and values.”
Material Used :
1. Doors: Optima Edge Glazed partition
2. Windows: Critall w20 Steel windows and doors
- Ground floor: Istoria Oak floor
- First floor: Bolon Recycled woven Vinyl