“We don’t believe in ready-made solutions. We look at things differently; asking tough questions from the outset and challenging assumptions to achieve thought-provoking options and opportunities.” — Barker Langham
Barker Langham's new headquarters are nestled in a beautiful Georgian building in Islington. The project started pre-Covid and completed on site in the midst of the pandemic, with the brief evolving as the rapidly changing role of the workspace became apparent.
As cultural strategists, with projects around the world and offices in both the Middle East and the United States, Barker Langham is used to working from multiple locations, but lockdown pushed that model of thinking further. The new workspace provides a highly flexible environment, which can adapt and flex to the varying needs of their peripatetic team. The importance of creating a variety of different types of workspace—collective/collaborative spaces, and spaces for quiet reflection—as well as creating visual and physical connections to the external courtyards at the rear of the building were key.
The final design is characterised by the expanding and contracting spaces created, and is achieved using a restrained palette of materials. Existing lighting and MEP fittings were re-purposed, and the reconfiguration was created solely through the use carefully curated joinery and linings in FSC timber. Ribbons of oiled and ribbed birch wood joinery flow through the different rooms, creating cases for book collections, booths for working, and folding partitions to divide up larger spaces. The pale timber paneling creates a calming environment, and reflects natural light deep into the space. The final effect is a space which appears far larger than it is, with unexpected pockets and hidden rooms appearing behind sliding doors and folding panels.