Dezeen Magazine

Picture of an office with a wall of different material samples and a blue desk in the centre of the space

Office S&M unveils its own colourful office with plastic-bottle-wall enclosed meeting room

Architecture practice Office S&M has completed its own office inside a former paint-making workshop in Hackney, London.

With an entire wall of material samples and areas for modelling and sketching, Office S&M's workspace aims to act as a laboratory to support its ongoing exploration of materials "that are both practical and fun."

Picture of a wall showcasing different material samples and a person touching one of the samples
Material samples are loosely placed to allow experimentation in the office

The studio, headed by architects Catrina Stewart and Hugh McEwen, frequently experiments with materials and colour.

For its own office, complementary shades such as electric blue, yellow, red and green, were combined.

Picture of an office's interior with electric blue walls, a red couch and a small pink mirror
The office combines bold colours

"For this workspace, we particularly used an electric blue and a bright yellow to contrast with each other and make the space larger," McEwen told Dezeen.

"At the same time, because the workspace is south facing, we used the blue to cool the light and even out the warmth of the sun when looking at samples or drawings."

Picture of a workspace with a communal desk in the centre, plants and green large windows in the background
The space has been broken into spaces for different uses

The office features a separate meeting room acoustically isolated with sheets of recycled plastic bottles.

The plastic-bottle wall also works as a point of light thanks to the bulbs it contains inside.

Picture of a yellow chair and a pink wavy side table in front of a recycled-plastic-bottle wall
According to the architects, the recycled-plastic-bottle "provides excellent acoustic insulation"

"For our own office, we decided to use another common waste material, plastic bottles, but reimagined, to build a soundproofed meeting room," said Stewart.

"The recycled plastic insulation is easy to work with, and irritation free, compared to traditional insulation."

Picture of a person drawing several illustrations of houses
The studio also includes ergonomic workstations

The space was divided into areas focused on collaboration, discussion and making to reflect Office S&M's commitment to community-led design.

"We live in east London, and do much of our work in the areas near where we live and work," said McEwen. "This gives us really local knowledge, so we can make sure projects have the most impact and can give back to the area."

Picture of a three-storey building that previously was a paint-making business
The building is owned by Bootstrap, a charity that supports emerging businesses in Hackney

Additionally, Office S&M added plants, air purifiers and ergonomic workstations that intend to maintain the well-being of its occupants.

Other projects by the studio include a rental home for a young property developer that aims to offer a solution to London's rental market, and the renovation of the Mo-tel House, a residence that features pale colours and bathroom counters made of discarded milk bottles and chopping boards.

The photography is by Ellen Christina Hancock.