Picture Perfect

A bespoke solution for one of London’s most iconic industrial landmarks.

Herbal House is a new development in Clerkenwell with a rich history in printing. Originally constructed in 1928 as the Daily Mirror’s headquarters and printworks, in 1949 it became home to The London School of Printing at Central Saint Martins. More recently, this historic building has been redeveloped as an industrial workspace building, providing a modern office space in Central London to meet the needs of creative and tech firms.

We were brought on board to develop a bespoke solution as part of the interior design scheme for one of Herbal House’s major occupiers.

Printing inspired the entire interior design concept, which utilises the 4 primary colours of print: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black) to differentiate floors in the building, all visible from a central atrium. The design is not only clever and functional, but also sympathetic to the aesthetics of the industrial architecture.

It’s a creative space for a creative business, and collaboration is fundamental to how the business works. We were called upon to bring to life an idea for a highly functional whiteboard area that can be used to facilitate collaboration, team briefings and creative huddles.

Working from an initial sketch, we created a system that would provide a completely stable unit for the big (and very heavy) magnetic whiteboards, along with integrated bracketry that would allow for the addition of flatscreens or Google Jamboards.

The huge boards are held in place by brightly coloured frames that mimic industrial pipework, painted in the CMYK colour palette. Meanwhile, finer details like plywood edging on the whiteboard carry the industrial aesthetic through the entire design.

One of our biggest challenges was preparing for installation. We fitted approximately 20 of these set-ups over four floors and, although they may look uniform from afar, each one had to be affixed in a different way depending on its location, and consequently, each one had individual requirements. Some were fixed at the top and bottom, floor to ceiling, but in other cases (like in the atrium where there is no ceiling to fix to) we had to extend the framework backwards at right angles before we could secure it.

The finished offices look fantastic. They are sympathetic to the industrial architecture and at the same time embody a very modern way of working. Our part in the overall design process is ultimately quite a small one, but it’s our knack for problem solving and working out the finer details, that allows the creative vision to come fully into focus.