200 Gray’s Inn Road by Conran and Partners

Conran and Partners overhauls office lobby to feature hotel-style leisure areas

Architecture practice Conran and Partners has renovated the ground floor lobby of a central London office to create a shared space that "blurs the edges between work and play".

Conran and Partners has redesigned the ground floor of Holborn's 200 Gray's Inn Road building to be a bright and comfortable shared workspace that functions more like a hotel lobby.

The project is shortlisted in the small workspace interior category of the 2019 Dezeen Awards.

200 Gray’s Inn Road by Conran and Partners

"[The project] has been designed to re-imagine a new type of ground floor space that interweaves office reception, private members club, café culture and hotel experience; blurring the edges between work and play," said the practice.

"A significant task was to soften the large open space, meaningfully dividing it into a series of connected environments with different uses."

"The design responds to the changing work culture of modern tenants, ultimately giving the space a new lease of life," it continued.

200 Gray’s Inn Road by Conran and Partners

The office building, which is home to a number of high-profile media organisations including ITN Productions, ITV and Warner Bros, was originally designed by Foster + Partners and opened in 1991.

Its existing lobby featured a conventional reception area that was largely only used as an entry point to the wider building. The ground floor space now combines an office reception, cafe and a mix of formal and casual seating areas.

200 Gray’s Inn Road by Conran and Partners

Employees and visitors can choose to relax on the cobalt-blue sofa sets or sit with a laptop at the tan leather seating banquettes that run around the room's peripheries.

Light-hued timber desks and emerald velvet stool seats with brass bases have also been dotted throughout.

200 Gray’s Inn Road by Conran and Partners

The cafe is located at the rear of the lobby but can spill out into the rest of the space during busy breakfast and lunchtime periods.

Strips of greenery have also been inset into a rear wall to improve air quality and minimise noise levels.

These design features are intended to encourage users to linger, mix and engage in the reception area, rather than simply passing through the space en route to offices at higher levels.

200 Gray’s Inn Road by Conran and Partners

A palette of hard and soft materials – like terrazzo, metal, timber and leather – has been applied to create an inviting interior that maintains a connection with the external urban landscape, breaking down the barrier between the public and corporate environments.

Gridded panels of lighting have also been inserted into the exposed concrete ceiling to highlight the existing structure and rhythm of the architecture.

"In an attempt to work with the existing fabric, and not against it, our approach has therefore employed equally authentic materials to create new interventions," said the practice.

200 Gray’s Inn Road by Conran and Partners

To minimise the disruption of the building's internal structural layout, joinery was also designed by the practice to adjust to the existing on-site conditions.

"It was crucial that the design both complemented the wider building and preserved the spirit of the original design," concluded the practice.

200 Gray’s Inn Road by Conran and Partners

Conran and Partners has bases in London, Brighton and Hong Kong. The practice has most recently converted architect Richard Seifert's celebrated Centre Point tower into luxury apartments.

 

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200 Gray’s Inn Road by Conran and Partners
200 Gray’s Inn Road by Conran and Partners