Bureau de Change

Bureau de Change

London, GB


Somesuch 2.0

Bureau de Change has designed the new London headquarters for commercial production company Somesuch, facilitating their move from Shoreditch to Spitalfields. The project has saved a derelict warehouse building in one of London’s most beloved districts, transforming it into a crafted and thriving workspace.

This represents Bureau de Change’s second commission from Somesuch. The building is a 1960s infill (three storeys high with wide single glazed windows) in a street of Grade II listed Georgian townhouses. Bureau de Change’s design strategy has been to reconnect the unremarkable commercial building to the site’s history as a workshop for the Huguenot silk weavers of Spitalfields, imbuing the space with a sense of personality of the district’s heyday as a thriving workspace for 17th century London’s textile industries.

The offices are accessed on the ground floor with workspaces situated on the first and second floor. Central to the scheme is a signature timber staircase which rises between the two floors, dividing the floorplate and activating the spaces around it. It is the heart of the studio where co-workers and clients can congregate to work or socialise and exchange ideas and inspiration. Bespoke timber panels wrap the original staircase providing multi-functional use as shelving, lighting, seating (including nooks for reading) and landscaping. The panels feature details inspired by the silk weavers’ timber tools and loom machinery and rattan infills which reference weaving techniques.

The building as found was in a poor state of disrepair: it was poorly insulated and needed a complete overhaul of mechanical and electrical fittings. It has been stripped back to its core. The scheme preserves key elements of the original building, including the flagstone floor, complementing the shell materials with carefully selected non-toxic surfaces such as Marmoleum flooring, a PVC-free carbon neutral finish made of 97% raw natural materials; accented with unconventional fittings such as papier-mâché pendant lights made in Portugal, which reflect the irreverence of Somesuch’s studio. The new entrance is characterised by vivid geometric tiles, complementing the original timber doors marking your arrival in Somesuch’s new home.

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Status: Built
Location: London, GB
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: construction - AW Spaces