The style and structure of London office builds can determine the way the space is used and how employees working inside feel.
Unusual structures, such as the ‘Gherkin’ at 30 St Mary Axe, draw attention to tenant profiles and can provide their company with a strong and successful image.
Linda Felmingham, who works for law firm Hunton and Williams, which rents out space in the famous landmark explained the appeal of the “lovely building that everyone knows about”. She said, “If I get in a cab I don’t give the address, I just say ‘The Gherkin’”.
However, there are space problems that can arise in such structures, like the tendency of staff to feel weary in airtight conditions, according to The Financial Times.
Hugh Mulcahey, director at property consultant firm Cyril Sweett, said: “Curved funky structures use space inefficiently and can be expensive to fit out”.
Other attempts to create unique office space architecture have not always worked. For example, ‘The Ark’ was built in the 1990s, which was a Hammersmith office building that reflected the open expanse of a ship.
The structure was constructed with a specific tenant in mind who pulled out before completion. The inability to partition the space meant it was difficult for the landlord to find tenants and the high-up walk ways frightened people who didn’t like heights.
De Novo Architecture altered the interior of the building in 2006. Partner Stuart McLarty said, prior to the changes,: “We went to one event where a caterer was too scared to cross an internal bridge to get to the reception”.