Strap line 2015

monthlies OnOffice July9

14 Feb 2020

dMFK design new flexible workspace in One Canada Square

Words by 

It is the 9th and largest workspace dMFK have masterminded for The Office Group (TOG). 

The latest offering of the The Office Group (TOG) is housed within the Canary Wharf centrepiece.

As if further evidence was needed of co-working’s growing popularity as a workplace typology, TOG’s newest offering is housed within Canary Wharf's One Canada Square: the pinnacle of east London’s corporate enclave.

1911 dMFK One Canada Sq Gilbert McCarragher 003 HiResdMFK were inspired by the American corporate aesthetic of the 1950s and 1960s. Photo: Gilbert McCarragher

One Canada Square was built by the Argentine architect César Pelli, now best-known for his Petronas Twin Towers (1992-98) in Kuala Lumpur. His design for Canada Square — an austere international style tower topped by a glass pyramid, in a lightly postmodern touch — resembles his earlier World Financial Centre (1982-88) in New York. When completed in 1991, it was the tallest building in the UK, and has only been pipped since by the Shard. One of the most recognisable contemporary buildings in London, it serves as a metonym for the city’s banking sector.

A cafe, run by Maple & Co, brings a focus on seasonal food. Photograph: Gilbert McCarragherA cafe, run by Maple & Co, brings a focus on seasonal food. Photo: Gilbert McCarragher

dMFK’s refurbished space spans the 7th, 8th and 9th floors of the 50-storey, 235 metre-tall skyscraper. It occupies some 80,000sq ft of floorspace, and features meeting rooms, a communal lounges and breakout spaces. Continuing TOG's focus on fusing workspaces with leisure facilities, it also includes a Manor fitness studio and a Maple & Co cafe with a focus on seasonal, locally-sourced produce.

1911 dMFK One Canada Sq Gilbert McCarragher 005 HiResThe 90,000sq m flexible workspace contains ample meeting rooms and break-out spaces. Photo: Gilbert McCarragher.

The tower’s original interior is notable for its marble-lined foyer, which blends dusky, smoky hues. The new workspace follows the this design cues, with prominent terrazzo, timber-patterning and metalwork elements. dMFK drew further inspiration from the American mid-century modernism of Mies Van Der Rohe and Philip Johnson, perhaps most clearly expressed in the interior's warm wooden frames and clear sightlines. 

1911 dMFK One Canada Sq Gilbert McCarragher 021 HiResThe furniture comes from a range of brands, including vitra, Normann Copehnagen and &tradition. Photo: Gilbert McCarragher

dMFK's scheme is focused round new linear avenues that allow even the areas furthest from the window to be suffused with light. A range of Kvadrat textiles line the shared areas, while the furniture is drawn from vitra, Normann Copenhagen, &tradition, Hai and Faina. The Co-Chair, a stackable chair co-designed by TOG, will also be present. 

One Canada Square stands at the centre of the Canary Wharf development.One Canada Square stands at the centre of the Canary Wharf development.

Founded as de Metz Architects in 1998, dMFK has significant experience of converting older office buildings. In 2016, they won acclaim for their remodelling of Salters Hall in the City of London, comprehensively revitalising a neglected brutalist gem. 

One Canada Square is dMFK’s 9th project with TOG, and their largest to date. ‘We’ve worked together to advance their concept,’ says founding director Julian de Metz, ‘each time evolving the blurring of shared and private space, gibing members ownership of the space well beyond their office.’

newsletter 2015