London, United Kingdom
With a new ownership structure, a new way of working and a new office, London firm Apt decided the time was right to rebrand their company as well. Their new Clerkenwell home reflects the company’s new élan.
Designing your own office is very challenging – your client is almost living with you.
“We made a big change last year when we decided to become an Employee Ownership Trust”, says lead architect Stephane Piazza. “We used to have a more vertical structure, which is now evolving into something more collaborative. A very exciting period that almost feels like a rebirth. Our new office space needed to reflect that. We found the exact rough and ready spirit we were looking for in this old metal workshop in Clerkenwell.”
Traces of a previous life
“With our design we wanted to respect the traces of the building’s previous life”, says Piazza, “including exposed brickwork and lots of steel, that give it a very warehouse-like feel. Any new materials that we used had to blend right in. We also host lots of events and have visitors all the time, so we needed something robust, historic and pleasing to the eye. Timber was the right way to go for us; the flooring looks like it’s always been there.”
This new environment reflects who we are and who we want to be.
Change in the mood
The biggest triumph of the design, according to Piazza, is the way people react to it. “The first reaction of consultants and clients coming in is telling: it puts a smile on their face. The same goes for my colleagues. There’s a noticeable change in the mood, people are happier, there’s no competition in the office. Our new environment plays a big part in that.”