There’s been a lot of stuff written about how the layout of an office space can affect productivity, employee morale, and other factors. Many opt for open-plan offices and eccentric wall art, safe in the knowledge they’ve got a quirky, trendy workplace that any modern business could be proud of – and, presumably, the happy, prolific workforce that comes with it.
Some, however, take the quirk much further. Some take a theme and run with it, creating theme park-esque worlds of imagination and intrigue, as removed from typical office life as possible. It tends to be big tech companies that go crazy on the details but even home offices can be given the full-on, quirk-at-work treatment – TV presenter Jamie Theakston, for example, has a huge art installation by Martin Cottis decorating the office of his London home.
And, as with many things slightly left-of-centre, many of these workplaces tend to be located in London – which is perhaps unsurprising, since the UK capital plays host to some of the world’s biggest businesses, as well as some of the world’s most creative examples of art and architecture.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at three of the most impressive, innovative, and downright odd examples of London office space:
Google, Covent Garden
Google boasts three locations in the capital, and each features decor stamped with the search engine giant’s idiosyncratic attitude. But its new headquarters, opened in 2012, really take things to a new level.
The 160,000 square foot London office space features, amongst other things, a padded lounge room modelled after traditional British pubs, a rooftop garden which offers stunning views of the capital, and a seating area modelled after an elderly person’s sitting room. All are given quirky names like ‘Granny’s Flat’, ‘Micro Kitchen’, ‘Hedge Your Bets’ and, semi-inexplicably, ‘Velourmptious Snug’. Would be better if there is hanging chair or hammock…the perfect way to invite tranquility into a hectic day in Google office.
YouTube (Office Space), Covent Garden
Okay, we’re cheating a bit here. YouTube is part of the Google brand, and its UK offices actually occupy a floor of Google’s London office space in Covent Garden. However, the YouTube floor has an appearance all of its own, so it would be a shame not to highlight it.
Echoing YouTube’s position as moving image magnates, the floor has been designed to look like the backstage area of a film set, complete with exposed boards, cinema room, and even a relaxation area designed to look like Del Boy’s living room from Only Fools and Horses.
Container City I, Docklands
Container City I was created by the similarly-named Container City company, which specialises in eco-friendly, modular offices. This London office space, located at Trinity Bouy Wharf, took just four days to install, but – with an extra floor added two years after initial construction – provides 560 square metres of space.
It’s actually a mixed office/living space and, despite being built using shipping containers, looks strikingly modern – and strikingly quirky, too!
Louisa Jenkins is a blogger with an enthusiasm for commercial property. She regulary likes to produce blogs about quirky pieces of London office space.