Arts Council England National Offices
London, United Kingdom 2006–2008
Client: Arts Council England RIBA Award
The National Offices for the Arts Council in Great Peter Street provide workspace for two hundred and fifty staff, as well as meeting and reception spaces in a seven-storey building that was reconstructed from a Victorian building in the 1980s. The refurbishment of the interiors —previously labyrinthine partitioned offices with low suspended ceilings— took place in a phased construction process without closing the building.
The design reduces the building interior into a kind of industrial shell behind its more polite Arts and Crafts exterior. The shell, within which staff work in groups at large tables, makes the interior as open and as high and interconnected as it can be. Special constructions for quiet working, tea kitchens, and shared storage give a structure to the open plan. The cleared-out space has an interesting organic shape with a lot of window perimeter and spectacular views out to Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
The use of colour to form a three-dimensional construct within the building was devised by the artist Lothar Götz. The general shell is painted out in a range of greys, in a specific tone for each of the seven floors of the building. Seven strong colours are used in 2.4-metre high blocks, to reinforce a hierarchy within the floors, giving an intensity to the interiors of meeting rooms and core positions.
London, United Kingdom
Arts Council England
Caruso St John Architects
Adam Caruso, Peter St John
Neslihan Aydogan, Viktor Jak, James Payne, Frank Wössner
Price & Myers