The kernel of every workspace design project is the space. For some of our clients the journey begins with choosing a property. At buildgen we can accompany you on that journey right from this very first step: from advice to recommendations to formal feasibility reports.
With years of experience in the London commercial property arena, we are uniquely positioned to help you find an office space that will lend itself to that perfect blend of functionality, design and brand ethos that lies at the core of all our projects.
Location, Location, Location
Although what goes into your office is the most crucial aspect for creating a vibrant work environment, what happens on the streets surrounding it can also play an enormous part in the way your space functions and how it works for you and your team. This is why one of the most difficult parts of any design project is choosing the location for the office space!
London is home to a number of distinct districts throughout its many boroughs, each offering something a little different. There is a lot to consider: commuting, leisure, local residents and other businesses in the area. Below we’ve put together a handy guide to the top places to locate your workspace.
It is one of the first names that people think of when they think of high-end or luxury business. As well as having a name known all over the world (which will obviously lend a fair bit of prestige to any business located here) it’s got great local styling and architecture - some of the most aesthetically pleasing office space London wide.
As well as looking and sounding the part, Mayfair is perfect for those in businesses with a lot of client-facing or account management work, as there are plenty of local restaurants and bars that will be perfect for entertaining.
Out in the west end is the charming and delightful Marylebone. It is quieter (in places) than some of the other names on this list, but still worth considering as office space. London’s Oxford Street is conveniently close by - as well as a number of the classic London sights.
Populated in part by Georgian mansions, Marylebone is as smart and chic as any other part of West or Central London and has a mainline railway station to boot!
Named for a local pub, this area has long been favoured by those in the media and journalism professions. Although still a highly prestigious area in which to locate a workspace, many of our clients prefer Fitzrovia to other comparable sites for its more reasonable pricing - certainly when compared with Mayfair. You’ll find shaded squares which offer a corner of quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, as well as all the liveliness you’d expect for a Zone 1 location.
Some of the most well known Tube stations are located here, which makes it a great choice for your commuting staff. Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road are two of the five stations that make Fitzrovia a very enticing location indeed.
Clerkenwell is located nicely between the vibrant West-end of London and the business-savvy City, and firms who choose this area do so mostly because of this exquisite combination of the best of what London has to offer. It’s popular with a range of industries and sectors, from design through to architects and planners who love the proximity to the brilliant Brutalist Barbican.
A short hop from the literary lights of Bloomsbury, High Holborn is home to a number of remarkably styled buildings that can truly set a business apart when it comes to office space. London based lawyers have called this area home for some time, and you’ll find extremely prestigious names on the address plates as you stroll its busy streets amid the horns of black cabs. It’s vibrant and characterful, and quite reasonably priced despite its wonderful central locale.
Businesses are able to expand here due to the increased square footage you can get for your money, and clients and staff alike will revel in the cuisine on offer in the streets around. There’s a lot to be said for Holborn and it’s no wonder that the market here is booming right now.
Blackfriars is home to some exceptional office space, London Bridge and Waterloo are also very conveniently located nearby making it perfect for businesses and organisations that have frequent inter-city train travel as part of their working life. Across this whole area you’ll find a huge number of very different styles of building and workspace, so it’s really somewhere that can suit a wide variety of companies.
Couple this flexibility with the convenience and stunning Thameside views that many buildings will have, and it’s easy to see why so many people are opting for Blackfriars as their ideal setting.
Your business or organisation could choose to locate itself alongside some of the world’s leading financial and insurance names, as well as the Bank of England, for a workspace that is hard to beat for prestige. Situated in the ancient Square Mile, the City of London is home to one of the world’s biggest financial centres and hundreds of thousands of workers.
Connection wise, it doesn’t get better than the City, with mainline railways stations that serve all corners of the country, a dozen tube stops and even the DLR.
What Should I Look for When Looking for an Office?
If you’re looking for office space, London has it by the boatload. But you need to consider more than just the location before deciding which building to move into. At buildgen we’re able to provide feasibility reports that provide you with different options so that you can make the decision that will work for you.
For example, we were recently commissioned by Hunters Boots to produce a series of due diligence surveys to help them select an office space that would enable them to accommodate future growth.
One of the most important things to take into account is the size of the area itself - does it provide enough space for your organisation, is there room to grow, or will it be too big and provide the wrong kind of environment? Heating the building is also a consideration here, as larger spaces than you need mean you’ll be heating empty rooms!
Many buildings have service fees that cover maintenance and other communal aspects of the space: we can help you determine if this is something that you want, and more importantly, how it fits with your overall budget.
Logistical elements like transport are crucial, although in London most offices are located within the city’s extensive transport infrastructure.
We’ll help you make the right choice when it comes to these key factors, and when you’ve done so the next step is to get you into your new office space. London is home to some fabulous styles of workspace, and each can be fitted-out so that it’s right for you. We’ve got extensive experience of preparing offices of a number of different styles and building classifications.
Style of Office
Different office design styles can send different messages to your customers, clients and other partner organisations. It’s fundamental that you pick the right style for what you do and how you work. We can help you make this decision so that you end up with a space that works for you and can help you to grow.
Luxury Office Space, London
For organisations looking for the higher end finish, we’ve got a lot of experience in preparing this type of office space. London is home to some of the most prestigious companies in the world, and with custom fabrics, bespoke lighting and other high-end, high-tech fit-outs, a luxury space is something that can help you to enhance your image.
One of our high-end office interior design briefs for Harrison Street involved concealed fabric wrapped doors, folding walls and customised lighting. For their three front of house meeting rooms we designed a sophisticated mechanical system and bespoke AV arrangement to support the conversion of these meeting rooms into a single, large conference space.
Open Office Space, London
Open plan environments are very popular as they help organisations to work collaboratively and creatively, and we’ve helped produce some of the most cutting-edge examples of open office space planning anywhere in London. Our work for the company Nexthink located in a building above Cannon St Station, boasts a seamless design that both integrates with the building’s unique structure and the working practices of its young and dynamic staff.
Quirky Office Space, London
Your business or organisation is completely unique, and it’s becoming increasingly popular to have a workspace that is designed very specifically for the company that calls it home. This can take the form of classical design or ultra-modern maximalism. Whatever suits your team and your way of working is achievable with buildgen. Carrying out bespoke works to make an environment your own is one of the best things you can do to create a dynamic atmosphere.
One of our favourite quirky projects can be found in The English Speaking Union where we were commissioned to refurbish the private members’ bar. Situated in Dartmouth House, our designers immersed themselves in the Anglo-French style of the 1870s to create a space that is at once sympathetic to the building’s character and fully equipped with all the contemporary features of a modern private bar.
Type of Office Building Classification
In addition to the style of office you want, you need to consider the type of building and whether it is suitable for your business.
There are four main distinctions when it comes to building classifications, and you’ll need to be aware of these when choosing an office space. London, unsurprisingly, offers spaces in all these classes, so you have the full range of options when you make your choice. They are Trophy class, Class A, Class B and Class C - and these can change from time to time depending on how the market views different classes of building.
Things that are encompassed in these classifications are the building’s age, any history that makes it interesting or sought after, its owners, infrastructure and IT set-up, as well as its construction and things like plumbing and electrics. Depending on budget and location, the class of building that you opt for may differ.
How Do I Find the Right Office Space?
When you’ve got a list of the potential spaces that you’re interested in we can advise on how to take it forward, but for the initial search it can be quite time consuming. It can be a really smart decision to hire an expert who can take on this workload and help find some options.
Hiring a commercial real estate broker can be a great move, whether you’re renting or buying your workspace, as they know the area exceptionally well and can keep you informed of the intricacies and histories of a particular building or district. They can tirelessly go over adverts and carry out research and come back to you with places that suit your needs.
The following are some great firms that offer this service.
Newton Perkins has been established for over a hundred years and prides itself in being a market leader in providing services and advice to landlords and renters interest in office space. London based and full of local knowledge they can help you find properties and make decisions about leasing and acquisitions.
Cornerstone Office Search
Cornerstone operates independently and provides a service that puts the customer at the very heart of the property search. Experts in the local area, they are able to match organisations to the environments that will suit them the best.
Whether you’re looking for an office for 100 people in Soho, or 12 in Mayfair, Cornerstone are brokers that really know how to get the right space for the right people.
With an accreditation from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, you know that Morgan Pryce will put your needs first. They provide helpful tools such as an office space calculator and a dynamic map of the city that helps you to provide them with your preferred areas.
They’re able to ensure that the process is convenient and cost-effective and they provide support at regular intervals throughout your engagement period with them.
Lambert Smith Hampton
With experience of finding office space London-wide as well as in other parts of the UK and Ireland, LSH are one of the leading consultancy firms for organisations looking to take the hassle out of their property search. They are a large firm, so you know that you’ll have a wealth of experience at your disposal as well as the resources to ensure that your property search is as in-depth and far-reaching as possible.
Moving workspaces is a big decision, and not one to be taken lightly. There are a lot of different things that have to be taken into account before you’ve even started on the actual design work of your office space. London is big, and there are huge variations between the areas of the city, as well as with buildings within those areas. Working with us at buildgen from the very start of your journey is a great way to ensure that you make the decision that is right for your company.
Get in touch with our team to initiate the process of creating that perfect space for your business. We can help from the very beginning all the way through to the end.