dMFK Architects creates a nostalgic office interior in a former laboratory from the 1960s

The London firm dMFK Architects transformed the medical laboratory in the middle of the century into a flexible office space with smoked oak joinery and a renovated concrete staircase.

The 550-square-foot office is located on the first floor of a fully glazed 1960s building in the Fitzrovia district.

The meeting rooms are separated from the main area by smoked oak joinery

dMFK Architects ordered by a real estate developer Derwent London create an interior that was in line with the heritage of the building, while containing the essential features of a modern co-working space.

The office is accessed from the ground floor lobby through an originally restored concrete staircase, and features smoked oak carpentry and family-style tables tailored to the British furniture brand Benchmark.

Spherical lights in an office lined with wood dMFK Architects
Spherical hanging lamps hang in the main open-plan office space

Paired with antique lamps and pieces of Swiss and Danish furniture, the overall scheme creates a homely environment reminiscent of the Middle Ages.

The studio contained a wide range of spaces for different types of work, including telephone booths, focal booths, a choice of meeting space, shared flexible work benches, escape space, dining rooms, showers and changing rooms.

“Our goal was to design as many different workplace options as possible within one space, to offer the potential tenant light and shade and a range of options,” said dMFK Architects.

“The materials were kept soft and neutral to attract as wide a circle of tenants as possible.”

Open shelves and a white couch inside the Fitzroy Street office
Open shelves help divide the space

Architects also stressed the importance of offering different types of lighting to boost productivity.

“We wanted contrast, areas of light and shadow, strong task lighting on the tables, but lower lighting in other areas,” they explained.

“We also decided not to use linear strip lighting to create a less uniform light quality, which we find less tedious and interesting.”

Seating area and concrete staircase inside the Fitzroy Street office
dMFK Architects renovated the original concrete staircase in the building

According to dMFK Architects, the project represents a growing trend of developers to create finished interiors within office spaces, instead of renting empty shells.

The studio had previously designed 11 buildings for The Office Group and was responsible for renovating The Gaslight, a mixed development building housed in an art deco building in central London.

It’s a photo Jack Hobhouse.

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