Hub Westminster opens

20

03

Now this is something we’ve never thought of including in an office design: a greenhouse! Hub Westminster, the latest in a line of 28 small business start up support hubs that have been set up around the world, has just opened in London.

Alice Fung, co-founder of the Westminster Hub explained the Hub’s purpose: “We’re like a 21st-century members’ club, a network of places for small businesses to come, grow and flourish.”

The team behind the Hub’s design are from 00:/ design practice, and one of their designers, Joni Steiner said: “The first Hub in London, in Angel, had more of a hippy vibe and the second in King’s Cross was more accessible for businesspeople, with more high quality finishes. This place is faster-paced and experimental, though there are still a lot of the same principles that tie all the Hubs together.”

“This place is faster-paced and experimental, though there are still a lot of the same principles that tie all the Hubs together.”

Joni Steiner continues: “The first Hub in London, in Angel, had more of a hippy vibe and the second in King’s Cross was more accessible for businesspeople, with more high quality finishes. This place is faster-paced and experimental, though there are still a lot of the same principles that tie all the Hubs together.”

Hub Westminster is on the first floor of New Zealand House on Haymarket and overs a total of 1,115sq m. In a previous life the premises were used as a place where people had to go to appeal against parking fines and was a dark, poky maze of small offices and narrow corridors. Project architect Lynton Pepper said: “It had a low ceiling and brown carpet so the project was a lot about taking things away and simplifying the space.”

The design team of Hub Westminster certainly deserve credit for using some really imaginative ideas: tables built at a slight angle to encourage collaboration, relay cords that can be pulled down from the ceiling to provide extra power supplies along with high chairs and desks.

So what about that greenhouse? Used as a meeting space, the idea of incorporating a greenhouse into the finished design is novel to say the least. The whole space is now light, airy and user-friendly with lots of writable surfaces, beanbags and things on wheels. Quite a change from the low ceilings and brown carpets!

Posted March 20, 2012

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