Faber and Faber, EC1N
Faber is one of the world’s great independent publishing houses. Founded in 1929 in Bloomsbury, their aim ever since has been to ‘transform, to inspire and to challenge’ through the power of the published word.
For their new Head Office, our brief was to create “An inspiring and visually stunning space, which we are proud to share with our community. A building our authors can feel is their home, as well as ours. Somewhere our Members and Academy customers feel excited to visit. It’s more than just somewhere for us to work.”
Faber: A poetic and pragmatic office transformation
Faber’s choice of our award-winning office project – The Bindery – fulfils the brief to the letter. What better place for a publisher’s new home than on the site of a former book-binding business?
Our total refurbishment of The Bindery as CAT A+ space previously, incorporating Open’s ‘smart’ accessible timber floor, allowed quick and easy re-configuration to accommodate the new office layout; this unique feature of the floor has proven to be both cost-effective and highly flexible.
Over Faber’s four floors we devised a stunning mix of private and open spaces, with high-specification kitchen and tea point areas, multiple breakout spaces, a library, and various flexible meeting and Academy rooms. The result is functional, experiential and ‘poetic’ for Faber employees and visitors alike, an expression of the company and its culture, but also ‘pragmatic’, conducive to productive work and fit-for-purpose for the varied activities within it.
Every detail was carefully considered, and bespoke joinery became the medium through which the vision came to life for this inspiring space. The result is a harmonious fusion of wood and light that exudes elegance and warmth, allowing Faber’s diverse content to come to the fore.
Craftsmanship and elegance
As visitors step into the reception area, their gaze is immediately drawn to the wall of books; inviting and welcoming. A secret door within conceals the utility room, adding an element of mystery and intrigue.
Moving further into the office space, a mix of bespoke timber, glazed and flexible sliding partitions gracefully delineate the Academy and individual offices and meeting rooms, guiding you towards an expansive open-plan space, where the natural light floods through the huge lantern skylights above. Here, bookshelves cleverly double as dividers, creating distinct working zones that foster collaboration and productivity, without any sense of isolation.
A feature stair to the lower ground floor reveals a vast, airy space that serves as a gateway to various areas, including the event space – seating 80 and featuring a demountable stage, with a sense of intimacy created through a ceiling formed of 160 elegant pendant lights and luxurious dark green drapes and walls. The realization of such custom work required meticulous planning and coordination. From the initial design stages to the final installation, every step was carefully orchestrated and executed with absolute precision and craftsmanship for this inspiring space.
- 16 weeks
The end product perfectly conveys the Faber identity, playfully maintaining the duality between tradition and heritage on the one hand and innovation and disruption on the other.”Mark Skilbeck – Project Manager
An inspiring space
Throughout this ambitious office project, we saw Open Contracts’ core values come to life. We rose to the challenges of design, budget, program, and sustainability demands. Working hand in glove with the visionary team at architects Piercy & Company, we created an inspiring space that met and exceeded Faber’s expectations from every angle.
Through careful selection of materials for this inspiring space and continuous monitoring of all processes, the project achieved the highest SKA Gold sustainability rating. We communicated clearly at each project stage, cared for our employees’ and clients’ needs, and collaborated effectively to deliver an exceptional workspace.
Our ‘safety first’ ethos and unwavering commitment to ensuring a safe, comfortable, and productive working environment was evidenced in our site safety inspections which consistently achieved an ‘AA’ rating.