Headquarters for a FTSE 250 property company in central London.
Great Portland Estates is a leading property investment and development company with a £2.1 billion property portfolio mainly centred on the area around Great Portland Street in central London. The company’s headquarters is located on the seventeenth floor of a 1960s building on Cavendish Square near Oxford Circus, overlooking much of this portfolio. When Orms were commissioned to design the offices, it was clear that the project would require some lateral thinking to overcome the many constraints of the building, putting into practice Great Portland Estates’ mission of unlocking the hidden potential in commercial real estate.
As a customer-focused company, the entrance sequence is pivotal to the design, with the visitor arriving in a lift lobby which is an integral part of the organisation. Client meeting rooms and social spaces are also placed at the heart of the internal diagram. The low ceiling heights of the original building have been visually ‘stretched’ by cleverly adapting the air conditioning to give a spacious feel to the meeting rooms. A palette of dramatic black lacquer walls, walnut joinery and stone floors give a contemporary gravitas to the design, complemented by a commissioned set of photographs which convey the essence of London without resorting to images of its icons.