We were delighted to acquire Squire and Partners amazing new HQ in hip and happening Brixton. We actually found the building two years ago, but kept the detail of the deal under wraps while these architectural geniuses created one of the most stunning buildings in London. Works have recently completed and the building has already been featured in articles in Monocle Magazine and the Evening Standard and will no doubt start winning a stream of awards over the next year.
Finding the building wasn’t easy. Driven by their constant expansion, we were given the task of finding Squire and Partners a 30,000 sq ft + freehold for them to relocate to from their King’s Cross base. Whilst they are the masters in urban regeneration, they were also looking for an area that could provide a building with natural ‘soul’ and a location with a community that would appreciate their creative investment and contribution that would extend well beyond the obvious economic benefits.
Brixton fitted perfectly with these aspirations. An area with a fascinating heritage and eclectic history that also has a superb transport infrastructure connecting it to the West End and central London. These were exactly the reasons why Brixton became a successful retail centre in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century boasting no fewer than four large department stores. The building we identified was originally the furniture annex to Bon Marche, London’s first department store.
Two years later and, following one of the most stunning architectural recreations London has ever seen, the most amazing building had emerged. It not only houses their growing architectural practice, but also includes gallery space for local artists, a Making Room where designers and artists can hold public workshops and a contemporary staff dining lounge, bar and extensive roof terrace.
It is a building you really have to see to appreciate. Squire and Partners’ design focus was to retain as many elements of the building’s rich history as possible and this is evident in the different layers of wall and ceiling finishes throughout the office floors and the fact that they have even retained various examples of the graffiti that adorned the walls when the building was an occupied squat. It all comes together to create a mood and atmosphere that could never be manufactured. Squire and Partners like to see this as representing ‘decayed decadence’ rather than urban or utility chic.
At Monmouth Dean we are all genuinely proud to have been involved in this process and have recently been instructed by another substantial owner occupier to find them a similar new home for the to buy, cherish and create. We’ll keep you posted as to how this evolves.
Photos by James Jones