Monotype, a leader in empowering expression and engagement through type, technology and expertise, has just opened the doors of a brand new UK headquarters in London's centre of tech and creativity: Shoreditch. Designed by Ben Adams Architects, the space is an architectural love-letter to the art of typography.
"Monotype needed an agile and inspiring workplace for now, and for its future needs. Our scheme provides designed–in scope for expansion and picks up inspiring cues from their amazing archive of typefaces," notes Ben Adams, director of Ben Adams Architects.
The 330sq-m space was constructed with adaptability in mind, so as to suit the needs of the culture of the company. A dynamic wall of bespoke plywood joinery divides the main space into distinct zones for collaboration, display and quiet, focused solo work, while a simple change in layout can introduce 32 new workstations, as well as additional meeting space.
The walls, floor and ceiling are laser-etched with 1,500 of Monotype's 'M' monogram, set in 750 typefaces from the company's archive. One of its most recent – the all-language typeface Noto, created in collaboration with Google – is honoured with two glass walls edging the central space that look down into the building's atrium, adorned with 986 glyphs from the 100 Noto scripts, ranging from modern Arabic to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
“Everything we do here attempts to tell a part of our story. Balancing the past 100 years of type with where it's going over the coming years informed our approach to the environment design. We let the type stand in the foreground, celebrating its details, its silhouette, its ink trap, its subtlety. We also try to hide details in places for the curious,” explains James Fooks-Bale, creative director, Monotype.