179-185 Great Portland Street was built in 1912 as the production and sales facility for Smith & Sons, the manufacturers of the first speedometers. Smiths occupied the premises until after the war and much of the site had been destroyed over the years.
The Office Group (TOG) assigned west London based architects, Stiff & Trevillion to embrace the industrial heritage within the building and create a co-working space and The Office Group office headquarters on the lower ground floor. The project included full Cat B refurbishment and fit out of new lounges, meeting rooms, catering facilities, kitchens, phone booths, gym, changing rooms, cycle parking and adaptable office suites.
The historic Portland stone facade of the building is one of the few original features that have stood the test of time and the Edwardian facade was enhanced with a new ground floor shop front, referencing the history of the site and its original.
Internally the design also references the heritage of the building but in a contemporary tone. Stiff & Trevillion achieved a modern and stylish interior -with modern and vintage furniture – that matches the requirements of a young co-working environment but with subtle hints at the site’s industrial history.
The refurbishment was Stiff + Trevillion’s second project for TOG, the first being Borough High Street (shortlisted for the NLA Award 2016, Conservation and Retrofit Awards).
New TOG co-working space references Great Portland Street site’s industrial history