A Look Inside Black Kite’s New London Office
Videoproduction studio Black Kite hired architecture and interior design firm Bureau de Change to design their new office in London, England.
“The client’s brief called for a specific working environment; production and visual effects suites that are isolated from external sources of light and sound. Bureau de Change responded to these conditions by devising a spatial strategy conceptualised from the site’s industrial past as an Engineers and Iron Foundry.
Geometrical forms of traditional iron kilns reprise themselves in the proposal as a composition of dispersed intersecting circles, mapped across the grid system established by the existing columns. Each volume contains a rectangular void, enclosing the production, editing, and colour suites in a controlled private environment. Smaller cylinders intersect the private working space to create transitioning thresholds.
Co-founder and Director of Bureau de Change Katerina Dionysopoulou said, “We are proposing a scheme that extracts and interpolates volumes and motifs of traditional Victorian foundries and kilns to create a gradient of introvert to extrovert spaces, seamlessly integrated together through a bespoke layout and design language.”
The undulating external surface forged from the intersections was excavated at intervals, creating carved-out spaces within the volumes. These cavities function as semi-private break out spaces, each correlating to their respective enclosed working suite; creating duality of space within a singular volume, separated by a lone wall. The placement of each excavation allows for a natural transition between the enclosed working areas, semi- private breakout cavities, and the central open plan working space.
Co-founder and Director of Bureau de Change Billy Mavropoulos explains, “Each of the volumes are clad in painted routed timber surfaces, informed by the vertical seams of traditional iron kilns. The cut-outs are finished in a rough clay plaster, juxtaposing the sharper articulation of the cylinders with warm cave like textures further adding to the journey of materials, textures and colours in the space.”
At the ground floor, the open plan lounge in the centre links the reception in the front with the open plan production desks in the back. The exposed production desks are undesignated, allowing for ease of access and flexible impromptu usage. The kitchen inhabiting one of the cavities is cladded in stainless steel to reflect light and act as a distinct centrepiece of the room by the entrance becoming the social core of the office. Handmade glazed ceramic tiles circumnavigate the curved recycled plastic countertop.
Carefully curated furniture activate the space and create a homely and comfortable atmosphere, placed among the cavities and the negative spaces formed between the volumes. The proposed layout offers access to a gradating degree of porosity and permeability in work-space environments, incorporating and catering to preferential cultures, values, and behaviours of people. The spaces are not separated into different sectors but are connected seamlessly into one plan, offering a sense of discovery through different layers.”
- Location: London, England
- Date completed: 2022
- Design: Bureau de Change
- Photos: Gilbert McCarragher