The Bindery, EC1N
Imagine a 1930’s Art Deco building being transformed into an exemplary workspace through a sustainable office refurbishment, where the focus on wellbeing is paramount and the original design combines gracefully with flawless, high-quality modern finishes.
This is ‘The Bindery’ – a new workspace like no other in the heart of London’s busy jewellery quarter, Hatton Garden, developed by the forward-thinking property investors Dorrington, whose foresight identified the extraordinary potential of this unloved building in the Farringdon area.
As for us, it’s another high-end office refurbishment that we’re delighted to have delivered exclusively for them, and which is already fully let.
The beginning of an inspiring and unique transformation
We started with a full strip-out. When the building’s previous tenants left, a mass of furniture, kitchen equipment and other items remained. We also stripped out the existing M&E, underfloor services and partitions and removed concrete from some of the brick piers and rivetted steel columns to create a clean, airy industrial look that became integral to the building’s final design.
A detailed structural survey of the building was carried out to understand what modifications could be done. The findings helped the architects envisage The Bindery’s ambitious final design, one that challenged our team on site in many ways, but was not impossible to achieve.
As refurbishment Main Contractors we led a team of over 40 subcontractors and suppliers, and successfully project managed every one of these teams to go the extra mile in making this fantastic transformation. The Bindery is a clear demonstration that with great collaboration, drive and determination, truly amazing spaces can be created.
Works that challenged our team
There were many unknowns in this 1930s Art Deco building, but the ambitious structural requirements to open up a new staircase, the extension of the lift up to the 7th floor, and the conversion of the roof into a large wellness and meeting terrace, presented the greatest challenges.
At our previous project, Panagram, we had also connected the lower ground floor to the ground floor by opening up the slab and installing a complex steel feature staircase. That experience was a great learning opportunity for us and we used the huge knowledge we gained to help us transform The Bindery lower floors.
Another interesting, but challenging aspect of the brief was to expose the huge roof lights above the new stair. These had been completely covered up many years ago and to replace them with new units with a sympathetic heritage design presented significant health and safety, and logistical, considerations. The removal of the glass and heavy steel frames, and the whole reconstruction process, had to be completed with great precision, high above the floors below. Now the beautiful leaded roof lanterns flood the ground floor and lower ground floors with natural light.
Once we had created the massive roof terrace support structure, a 60ft crane was used to lift the heavy Mediterranean trees and planters, along with 20 tonnes of soil, from the busy Hatton Garden shopping street high up onto the 7th storey roof. Constant, open communication and coordination with the client, council, neighbours and the rest of the team prevented any unwanted surprises.
Sustainability achieved with the retrofit
The approach we took to the refurbishment works meant we were able to retain a high percentage of the existing structure, which resulted in a significant amount of embodied carbon being saved. The design of the M&E included the installation of low-energy water heating, lighting with daylight dimming, smart metering and charging points for the electric bikes and scooters. PV solar panels, air source heat pumps, intelligent lighting controls and a sophisticated building management system were also added and as a result, the building achieved an EPC rating of ‘A’ at the end of the project.
The focus on sustainability didn’t stop there – it also extended to the use of materials, for example Open’s unique timber flooring construction allows the flexibility to accommodate any new CAT B layout without it having to be ripped up. We also created space for a herb and vegetable greenhouse on the roof, adopted by local restaurant Anglo for use in their kitchen.
Redundant steels removed from the roof have been transformed into a breath taking sculpture on the ground floor terrace. Stripped out furniture, light fittings and carpet tiles were donated to the Katherine Low Settlement, a much-loved charity located in Battersea. All these deliberate actions helped The Bindery far exceed its environmental targets.
- 30,000 sq.ft.
- 18 months
From a dark, dank, airless dungeon to a light, airy and inspiring workplace.”Angus de Watteville, Commercial Director – Open
Premium wellbeing space
We created three beautiful outdoor gardens that were designed by Chelsea-winning landscape designer Andy Sturgeon. The roof terrace has an abundance of plants and trees that were carefully chosen so they can thrive in the sometimes windy rooftop conditions, while the Mediterranean plants combine with comfortable seating and frameless glasshouses to create a place of tranquillity, with stunning views of St Paul’s and the Shard. This terrace is a truly mindful common space for all the building’s occupiers to enjoy.
We realised the potential of the development by creating a bicycle storage area beneath the new raised ground floor terrace, and built luxury showers and spa quality facilities within a fresh Art Deco design that both enhance and reinforce the building’s 1930’s heritage.
The clean, light and airy reception space is also a public art gallery, where visitors can enjoy changing exhibitions, many supporting local artists. To create this large open space we removed all the internal partitions and in-filled the slab where the original stair well to the lower ground floor once stood.
This concept tears up the rule boo of the classic, dull, office reception – an approach that Dorrington also took with our projects at Panagram and Laszlo. At Panagram we built an indoor pond and planted trees, at Laszlo we crated a living room space, while here at The Bindery we’ve created a stunning art gallery. This vision for the reception spaces shows our client’s innovative thinking in the development of each of these properties, which we can only applaud.
A long-term relationship based on mutual values
The Bindery is our third large-scale office refurbishment exclusively completed for our clients at Dorrington. During the transformation of Panagram and Laszlo, we stuck rigidly to our core principles that attention to detail, collaboration, care and flexibility are vital in delivering excellence and the constant strengthening of a long-term relationship.
The high standard of our refurbishment works as the Main Contractor gave this development a huge uplift in the building’s value, and there has been a viral buzz throughout the property market since The Bindery‘s launch – it’s definitely captured the imagination of all who have seen it. The paint is barely dry, and the building is already fully let.
Why not take a look at the photos below and enjoy seeing the space for yourself?