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Grand designs

The architects and designers behind TOG buildings describe what makes them work

Grand designs

Key statistics  

Number of floors: 8 

Number of terraces: 4 (+ roof terrace)
Minutes’ walk from tube station: 4

Floor-to-ceiling height: 8.5ft/10ft

 

Kirby Street was one of the first TOG buildings, and until its recent refit, still had the original décor from around 15 years ago. It was colourful but also very dark, with lots of bright pinks and yellows, and foam seats everywhere.

The building is situated near the centre of Hatton Garden and Farringdon – so the location is great, but it always lacked a bit of street presence.

The main objectives of the refit were to maximise natural light and create more breakout spaces to nurture a sense of sharing and community. The inspiration was simply, “What can we do to make it a complete contrast to what it was before?” Every colour of the rainbow was used in the old scheme, so we wanted to keep it more muted, classic, timeless and in line with TOG’s ethos.

The new design is quite simple: functional and flexible with a slight nod to Scandinavian design. We’ve created an open gallery feel for the entrance, making it far more welcoming. I particularly like the feature reception desk, which is made out of fluted brass rods. Elsewhere, the textures are all quite minimal but warm, so washed timber floors that are pale in contrast with the walnut cladding on the walls. There is light marble and lacquered timber throughout, with hints of rich terracotta on the walls.

A lot of the existing tenants are creatives – architects, designers or people working in the design industry – so I think it’s now a far more creative space, which is hopefully more attractive to them.

Vanessa Cox, architect, Buckley Gray Yeoman, buckleygrayyeoman.com

TOG

Key statistics
Number of floors: 4
Number of meeting rooms: 4
Minutes’ walk from tube station: 2
Floor-to-ceiling height: 14.5ft

Victoria Station runs the length of platforms one and two of Victoria Station. The main entrance was on Hudson Place but it’s now in a much brighter space inside the station.

The concept of the new design really came straight off the platforms, where they have the luxury British Pullman trains. These trains have been fully refurbished in authentic 1930s style, with their lacquered finishes and silver service – think the Orient Express. There’s a real culture around these trains, which pull up right outside the entrance. We wanted to take inspiration from that era – the Golden Age of Travel – and bring that feel to the present day. You could call it opulent modernism.

The material palette is rich: we’ve got checkerboard terrazzo floors in dark green and white as you enter the grand entrance hall just off the platform. Go upstairs and you get Bolivian rosewood parquet floors with lots of black polished marble counter tops. And there’s lots of velvet and custom seating, which creates a cosy and sophisticated area.

You get the scale and the proportions of the original building now that we’ve increased the ceiling heights and connected more of the spaces. We’re particularly pleased with the new mezzanine – it’s such a huge change from what was there before. It’s a very comfortable place to sit and work, overlooking the ground floor. It’s like a hideaway, where I could imagine getting comfortable, hanging out and spending the whole day.

Rowan Taylor, interior architect, Shed Design, shed-design.com