Project: Monotype Office
Architecture: Ben Adams Architects
Project team: Ben Adams
Location: London, United Kingdom
Area: 3,552 sqf
Text and photos: Courtesy of Ben Adams Architects
NLA Awards 2017 ‘Best Workplace’ shortlist
AJ Small Projects List 2017 shortlist
BD Awards 2019 ‘Office Architect of the Year’ shortlist
Global typeface giant, Monotype, required an agile London headquarters space to meet its current and future needs. This new studio provides a contemporary environment that reflects their position at the forefront of digital technology design.
To maximise the possibilities for collaborative working and team growth, the 330 square metre space has been designed to be as versatile and adaptable as possible. A dynamic spine wall of bespoke plywood joinery divides the main space into distinct zones for both collective activities and focused independent work, while a simple change in layout can introduce 32 new workstations and additional meeting space when needed.
Finely crafted birch ply portals extend from the spine to define a multi-functional central space for entertaining visitors, meeting with colleagues or holding out-of-hours events and exhibitions. This compact focal point is located centrally, accessible by everyone and suitable for further expansion.
A muted material palette of ply, existing brickwork and subtly textured laminates is punctuated by graphic black accents and provides a neutral backdrop for colourful artworks that are constantly updated and replaced in line with seasonal exhibitions. Generous provision of acoustically separate spaces provides for remote working allowing employees in London to routinely collaborate with colleagues all over the globe.
The plywood tunnel that traverses the space has been embellished with 1,500 laser-etchings of Monotype’s ‘M’ monogram, each showcasing one of 750 typefaces taken from the company’s archive. The glass walls of meeting rooms and phone booths have been flecked with similar motifs, including lines of 474 full stops, each in a different font – an architectural love letter to the art of typography.