The pandemic created a ripple effect through countless industries, architectural design notwithstanding. A new office in Central London created a post-pandemic atmosphere that balances technology, nature, and a vision of the future. 

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The front of the Southworks office brick building from the street

Southworks is a smart office created in collaboration between Developer MiddleCap and Designer SPPARC. Equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) technology developed by Dutch company bGrid, Southworks features sensors that control HVAC and lighting systems. IoT also monitors air quality, occupancy and noise levels in order to provide optimum energy efficiency and healthy internal environment.

Related: London floods spark worry over climate change preparedness

A row of a brick office building

Sustainability is prioritized throughout the complex, covering seven stories and 70,000 square feet. As a result, Southworks was named “The world’s smartest building” at the Futureproof Awards. Additionally, it earned recognition as the first U.K. building to achieve the Smart Building Certification Platinum Certificate. 

Furthermore, the complex architecture incorporates elements of the area’s industrial heritage combined with modern materials. A striking brick façade creates symmetry on the exterior. Meanwhile, an expansive, double-height lobby features handcrafted Italian crystalline-cast glass bricks. Recycled building materials were used where available and the main roof features solar panels as well as greenery. 

An open hallway area with exposed piping on the ceiling

Internally, the space was designed to offer flexibility for the changing needs of current and future occupants with the ability to change arrangements in large, open spaces. The interior design integrates a clean palette with material selections of steel, glass, brick and concrete. Black, industrial features counterbalance the otherwise minimalist elements.

An indoor open hall area with a wall covered in windows

There is an emphasis on occupant well being and connection to nature. This is seen through copious windows that provide natural light and an assortment of roof terraces. 

An outdoor landscape with wooden flooring overlooks a city landscape

Therefore, the building is equipped to support employees who bike to work, with 105 cycle spaces and a repair station. The location along the London cycle superhighway network means commuters have long bike lanes that are safely separated from car lanes. It is also on target to achieve a BREEAM Excellent Rating


Photography by Ed Reeve