We are ready to go now. We have had enough of Wardour Street. She has been good to us – vivacious, wild and at times a little weird.
Our new office was completed yesterday bar snagging, the annoying complexities of bringing the ‘internet’ across from the other side of Piccadilly to Oxendon street and the worktops being refitted on the bar (my mistake).
It’s been a project I have held close to my heart. Jas and Ian have kept a healthy distance, either in text book delegation or just scared to get embroiled in midnight discussions on rubber floors, iroko, oil painted car bonnets, fabricated steel and suitable adhesives for false glass eyes. I have been working with wonderful contractors in Spruce and working day to day hand in hammer with Wayne, our excellent project manager who has dealt with me with the patience and understanding I can only hope to achieve with my clients. It has been a full-on 4 week build. Not just as we have been ploughing to get in as early as possible, but the enforced budget, has made me search high and low for the interesting and cool without spanking it all down at Vitra, which isn’t really ever going to be our style. Anyone who knows us, will know that we like a deal, and the chance for a huge treasure hunt is too good an opportunity to pass up.
The driving force behind this obsession with materials, space and interior design has been the brief. A few months ago we did a hackathon, which has influenced the very nature of a huge number of elements of the office. Alongside this templated ride, sits the weight of having nearly 60 of the best waiting politely for their new home.
We kick off with our first monday in a few weeks, until then the lid is tight on this baby. Visits strictly limited. All that research into the concept of the modern office, space as facilitative collaborator, relational aethetics, and a penchant for school laboroatory worktops has culminated in 7000 square foot of what I hope one and all will consider blinding.
We have a a new phrase that popping up all over the place. Its as much a summary as a mantra. ‘Hand it over proud’. Whether ‘it’ be a brief for a mailer or a piece of copy it’s got to be you-right. Hand on heart I am pretty comfortable that Haymarket House, 1 Oxendon Street fits in with this. I cannot wait to hand it over. Nervous, expectant of everyones views, but proud nevertheless.
The picture above is where it all started. In the ‘research’ phase way back in June. In a freezing shed in Hatfield I discovered a job lot of salvage iroko lab worktop from a local school. Four schools later, calls and trips to Merseyside, Hertford and Enfield and a little bit of folded here and there. We had gathered 30 square meters and enough of this most soulful of materials to start making some furniture and get the backbone of our new office.
When we kick open the doors I will flickr a stack of photos for you. Wayne described the space this week ‘an office with Soul’. By far the best complement I think I have had for a while. I hope that if you fancy it, pop in or come along to the tea party we are having once we are in an settled and everyone has got to grips with the quooker.