Located at 76 Portland Place, the 3,157 sq-m of work space is a short distance from the institute's George Grey Wornum-designed headquarters at number 66. Conceived as the ‘younger sibling’ of the main structure, the reworking of the 1950s building aims to create a social and flexible environment for employees.
The new offices are comprised of three different parts: a seven-storey office tower that addresses the street, a three-storey brick mews at the rear and the ground level social forum that both of these are linked by. Blocks of colour on the walls create a strong contemporary feeling in the building that was once the Institute of Physics. Meeting rooms and quiet rooms are available for staff on the top floors, while the social forum houses a cafe and areas for more laid-back meetings.
At the rear of the forum, a triple storey glazed atrium allows an abundance of light and also opens the building up to views of number 66, linking the company both physically and symbolically. Photographs, maquettes and artworks from the institute’s personal collection have been used throughout the project to personalise the offices. Soraya Khan said, "It was an exhilarating and often challenging project with a tight budget and timescale that dictated a pragmatic approach to ensure money was directed to what mattered. Simple, robust materials and sensitive detailing of found and new surfaces left what comes free – careful planning, natural light, colour and well proportioned spaces – to bring delight."