REVIVAL OF LONDON LANDMARK VICTORIA HOUSE: A NEW WORKPLACE AND LIFESTYLE DESTINATION FOR THE FUTURE
Victoria House, the Grade-II listed neoclassical building in the heart of Bloomsbury, has today launched as London’s newest workplace and lifestyle destination reimagined by workspace provider LABS and acclaimed London based architecture studio Hutchinson & Partners.
Together, the partners have sensitively restored this 200,000 sq ft landmark to create a new iteration of Victoria House that celebrates its original 1920s design and its renovation from the early 2000s by Will Alsop.
Breathing new life to London’s Heritage Quarter, Victoria House now boasts an unparalleled set of amenities including a grand public lobby and ten levels of outstanding flexible workspace with an enviable events space available for hire at basement level. LABS and Hutchinson & Partners have designed a series of architecturally-striking suites called: The Alsop Suite, The Long Suite and the wellness-focused Heritage Suite unique to Victoria House. Providing a dedicated space to escape, unwind and recharge, The Heritage Suite features an impressive state-of-the-art gym and multi-use studio, alongside a lecture room, boardroom and a meeting room suite dedicated to supporting future collaboration.
More to come this summer, Victoria House is set to open its outdoor roof terrace with views of the West End and beyond, alongside a stunning contemporary bar within its grand public lobby, to bring Italian coffee and aperitivi culture to the neighbourhood.
Sitting at the heart of Victoria House is a majestic triple height Central Hall, accessed through a sweeping terrazzo staircase, with a marble soffit and large bronze chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and walls. Bespoke to this project, a monolithic terrazzo has been carefully selected, inspired in colour and form from the old stone of the building, creating a play between old and new.
Sitting on the north and south of the Central Hall are the original courtyards, now transformed into a soaring atrium space. A retail lined arcade runs along the edge of Southampton Row, while the lower ground floor boasts a myriad of recreation and event spaces, including the well-preserved Art Deco masterpiece, known locally as the Bloomsbury Ballroom.
Located behind the impressive lift lobby is the members atrium called The Long Suite. A series of sweeping booths with oak timber dividers add a warm layer to the space while helping to zone meeting spaces to connect safely and privately. Here, LABS and Hutchinson & Partners sought to retain one of Will Alsop’s most important interventions, characteristic of the practice’s style at the time – a series of pods, suspended daringly within the space. Alsop’s pods now hover above the new members atrium as a reminder of the building’s transformation at the turn of the millennium.
The upper floors have been transformed into a series of elegant contemporary workspaces with natural light flooding through large windows. Central timber tea points are at the heart of these spaces, with a series of libraries, nooks, meeting rooms, phone booths and informal workspaces located on every floor. Tucked into the northern corners are some fantastically preserved offices saved from the original building, replete with tumbled dice oak flooring, ornate carved marble, hardwood panelling and grand fireplaces.
In collaboration with British designer Fred Rigby, LABS has created a furniture collection exclusively for Victoria House. Fusing both LABS and Rigby’s distinctive styles, the collection is an exquisite play on organic shapes and free flowing design with the pieces also designed to overcome typical office requirements, while maintaining LABS’ signature at-home style.
To accommodate the anticipated increase in those walking and cycling to work, Victoria House offers ample showers and changing facilities with over 200 storage racks and spaces for bike and scooter parking.
Surrounded by cultural and academic institutions, including the British Museum and University College London, and an eclectic mix of retail, bars and restaurants in Bloomsbury, Victoria House is within a 15 minute walk of King’s Cross to the North or Farringdon to the East and Oxford Circus to the West. Dedicated cycle routes also connect all these locations and further afield.
Yaara Gooner, Lead Architect and Head of Design at LABS says: “Victoria House is a polychrome mélange of multiple layers of history and beauty. It was an honour to work on this phenomenal building with such a great team of creative minds. Our design aim was to create a holistic experience of tangible moments, while using a sensitive approach to the architectural restoration of Victoria House. The design concept is crucially influenced by the building’s sense of place and time and resulted in a unified design of interiors that gathers the original, the renovated and the new, into an entirely holistic experience.”
Dotan Weiner, Chief Operating Office of LABS says: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to see Victoria House come to life as a transformed workspace and new destination for both LABS members and the public. With this project, we’ve studied and implemented modernised workspace solutions and pushed the boundaries to bring design, wellness and safety to the forefront. The result is a delicate transformation of an iconic building that will define how people live and work.”
LABS provides fully flexible memberships so that everyone can choose what works best for their needs, whether it’s just a desk to roam or an entire floor for a workforce to thrive. All LABS members will have access to the suite of in-house amenities and services as well as member programming and local partner discounts.