NEW CO-WORKING SPACE BY NOTE DESIGN STUDIO
PUTS A FOCUS ON MENTAL WELLBEING
Swedish interior design and architect firm Note Design Studio has completed their first major project in the UK — the refurbishment of Summit House, a new flexible workspace in Holborn, London, run by The Office Group (TOG).
Originally built in 1925 and located a short distance from Holborn Underground Station on Red Lion Square, the Grade II listed building has a distinctly modern yet art deco aesthetic, featuring a striking façade.
Set across four floors, the building’s interior has been entirely reimagined by Note Design Studio, leaving only the original art deco features, such as the tiled facade and beautifully carved wooden entrance door, untouched. To compliment the art deco heritage of the building, Note based the concept for the interior design on Swedish Grace, a pre-functionalist style of modernism that spanned the 1920s. This includes a light and sculptural aesthetic, creating an intentional focus on geometry and balanced proportions across each of the spatial experiences, such as the simple kitchen benches, custom designed sofas, and the sculptural tiered detailing in the reception.
Jonna Dagliden Hunt
While physical wellbeing has been integrated in many co-working offices in the past few years, including in-house gyms, flexible desks and spaces to relax – Note has put a big focus on mental wellbeing. "We are generally speaking often quite good at taking care of the physical aspects of the office: the right height on the desk, good acoustics, enough light," says Johannes Karlström, Interior Architect & Founder at Note Design Studio, adding:
"What we are thinking about now is the mental aspects of the work life, a lot of our everyday work is about abstract tasks that demands a lot from your brain. The workplace is going through big changes now and the mental and social aspects will be in as much focus as the physical needs if you ask me," he says.
Deep warm tones of oak wood, combined with traditional materiality such as stainless steel, stone, glass and terrazzo, compliments the richness of the interior colour palette, with handpicked furniture and lighting from designers such as Lee Broom, Konstantin Grcic, Note Design Studio, Chris Martin, Philippe Malouin and Andreas Engesvik.
This includes the 'Recharge Room', an area of calm in the otherwise bustling office environment. This is also what Karlström is mostly proud of at Summit House. A light installation is specially designed to fill up the light levels that is proven to enhance both physical and psychological wellbeing.
"The room does not have a specific function, and that is the most important function – to give some space in the otherwise hectic and dense environment that a modern office is, allowing the space to be used for meditation, prayer, reflection or just to take a nap," he says.
TNE: Speaking of change, where do you see the future of co-working spaces post the pandemic?
JK: A guess is that we will see an increase of them; I believe that many big companies will look for a more agile and flexible solution for their employees to work closer to their home making co-working spaces attractive. During the pandemic the co-working spaces has proven the strong points in their concept - the flexibility in terms of many locations and the possibility to swiftly scale down the rented area to meet the lesser need for space since a lot of people are working from home.
"The room does not have a specific function, and that is the most important function – to give some space in the otherwise hectic and dense environment that a modern office is, allowing the space to be used for meditation, prayer, reflection or just to take a nap"