While London has long been seen as the fashion capital of the world, it’s now lauded by some as the design capital of the world too. While this is partly down to the number of talented artists, graphic designers and fashion designers coming out of the capital, one area that’s really developed of late is office design.

When reading through the “Coolest Offices in the World” posts on interior design and architecture blogs, I’ve noticed more and more just how often the offices of design savvy London businesses are starting to feature. I even put together a post about Red Bull’s impressive London HQ earlier this month.

Mother London

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Located in the heart of Camden, the headquarters of Forward Internet Group is another building that draws on the history of its neighbourhood. Very cool and a little bit “out there”, Forward’s office design includes a rich red amphitheatre and an impressive meeting room that looks like it’s come from a Sherlock Holmes novel.

Bizzby

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So how exactly has London risen to office design fame over trendy cities like Stockholm and New York?

A NEW TYPE OF CORE BUSINESS

While London was traditionally seen as the capital of law and banking, the TMT (technology, media and telecommunications) sector has slowly been coming to the fore as a core London business. Obviously rising to such fame has shone something of a spotlight on the companies in these sectors, making them more aware than ever of the need to stay ahead of the competition and keep up with current business trends, office design included.

Foregoing bland, dull, grey interiors for vibrant, unique and, quite often, quirky workspaces, companies like Forward Internet Group and Mother London are challenging the perceptions of what offices in their sector should look like. Formerly seen as, well, a little bit dull and nerdy, jobs in the TMT sector are now some of the most sought after in the world.

CHANGING ATTITUDES

Office design in London was long seen as being all about the exterior. In a city so heavily populated with architecturally beautiful historic buildings and impressive skyscrapers, the interior of an office played second fiddle and let the building itself do the talking. The only real decoration was often a heavy emblazoning of company branding, until psychological studies into workplace productivity began to emerge.

Modern attitudes are that the office you work in should actively help to increase employee output and, in turn, positively affect bottom line. Study after study has been conducted to prove that office colours, furniture, accessories and layout are just a few of the things that make staff members actually enjoy coming into work. Plain, uninspiring offices simply weren’t going to cut it anymore.

ITS ROLE AS A BUSINESS HUB

From the early 20th century London came into its own as a bustling business hub. From the birth of Britain’s first department store to its reputation as a banking mecca, London has since attracted everything from tech start-ups to American-born giants like Google to every available office space. Consequently, the office designs of these businesses needed to reflect not just the city’s reputation, but its ever changing atmosphere.

Currently one of the trendiest cities in the world and boasting an eclectic range of businesses, styles and cultures, the offices of London businesses have undergone an adventurous transformation. Nowhere is this more apparent than in, as I mentioned earlier, the TMT sector, so here are three of the most impressive office designs for you to appreciate yourself.

Smartphone app Bizzby is based in an old Victorian factory in London’s “Tech City”. As well as holding onto some of the building’s original industrial elements like the beautiful brick wall and exposed roof beams one of London’s most talented graffiti artists, Lucaso was enlisted to create a vibrant floor mural that gives the office an extra edge.

It isn’t hard to see why London is such a hub for great office design, but what do you think? Is there another city you think is the office design capital of the world?

Victoria Crawcour works for www.deskcentre.co.uk; designing interiors for office fit out projects.