Art, Architecture and a Modern Office / Alexander Martin Architects

© Simone Bossi © Simone Bossi
© Simone Bossi © Simone Bossi

Text description provided by the architects. Alexander Martin Architects (AMA) has repurposed an 18th century listed Georgian townhouse for use as a private office in Mayfair, London. The brief was to create a headquarters that could accommodate large meetings and events, whilst simultaneously providing private offices and workspace. A core challenge was to adapt the demands of a modern office within six relatively small floor plates yet ensure that the historical character of the building was restored and celebrated.

© Simone Bossi © Simone Bossi

Working in tandem with the architect, Lady Deirdre Dyson developed a carpeting scheme to give harmony to the building and bring colour and a sense of luxury to the new office space.

Ground floor plan Ground floor plan

Edwardian features were introduced when the buildings were remodelled in 1910, however, subsequent alterations eroded the historic character of the buildings over time.  AMA revisited the original Georgian floor plans to re-establish the order and proportion of the internal spaces removing the two storey rear extension and lift shaft and re-instating the rear facade and bay window.

© Simone Bossi © Simone Bossi

To restore the circulation within the building, the existing Edwardian oak staircase was remodeled to work within the original stair compartment and a large frameless rooflight added to bring natural daylight into the heart of the building.  The existing service passages were adapted to create a new lift shaft, connecting the front and rear rooms.

© Simone Bossi © Simone Bossi

The programmatic elements form a hierarchical arrangement over the six storeys, with the principal meeting, boardroom and ancillary service spaces located at lower ground floor level, main reception and meeting rooms on the ground floor, and private offices and workspace on the upper floors. A new glazed courtyard was inserted into the lower ground floor, providing a backdrop for the boardroom and breakout lounges.

Section Section

A landscaped garden at the rear provides a space for quiet reflection, while the copper clad garden room introduces a modern addition to enjoy the garden in a more intimate setting. This connects to the principal rooms on the lower ground floor by a floating stone and bronze stair.

© Simone Bossi © Simone Bossi

The refurbishment of the key period rooms began by restoring the original plasterwork, wall mouldings and skirtings, with bespoke joinery pieces introduced as freestanding furniture. The traditional wainscoting was reinterpreted in order to define the workspaces using flush oak panels, concealing services and providing a robust wall finish.

First floor plan First floor plan

Materials were selected for their timeless quality, echoing those present in the original building. A palette of natural oak, stone and plastered walls provides a backdrop for the Deirdre Dyson carpets, which connect the space through complimentary hues, whilst enhancing individual rooms through dramatic bursts of colour.  Fourteen of Lady Dyson’s contemporary designs, some hand knotted, free-standing room size carpets and others tufted and fitted were commissioned, totalling 350 sqm of luxurious wool and silk carpeting.

© Simone Bossi © Simone Bossi

Overlooking the copper clad garden room is a rug with dramatic copper silk stripes. The central staircase is hugged from top to bottom by a stair runner tonally graded to continually flow from dark to light, creating a sense of movement.

© Simone Bossi © Simone Bossi