Fora’s newest workspace brings a boutique sensibility and thoughtful design to the East End
Housed in a former Victorian warehouse off Brick Lane in London’s East End, premium workspace provider Fora’s ninth opening in the capital cements its reputation for turning existing architectural gems into carefully considered spaces. Architect Piercy & Company has undertaken a total refurbishment – including a two-storey roof extension and a dramatic void cut through the centre of the building – while Fora has brought its ethos of fusing hospitality, members-club style service and innovative technology.
Founded by The Big Chill festival co-founder Katrina Larkin and hospitality entrepreneur Enrico Sanna, Fora’s mission has good design at its heart, not just as a means of attracting discerning tenants but to improve productivity and wellbeing. The mid-19th-century former factory now offers 2,150 sqm of co-working and flexible workspace across five floors. Slicing through the building’s light-filled new central atrium is a sculptural staircase rendered in a dramatic blood red, a focus that visually ties the building together. The communal areas that sit adjacent to this feature, meanwhile, are subtly detailed, with a palette of natural materials and neutral hues. Brick perimeter walls and some original timber and cast iron elements were kept, helping the building to maintain the spirit of its original character, especially its exterior. Inside, the spaces are layered with terraces that offer views of the surrounding area alongside a residents’ lounge, kitchens and a modern events space.
One of Piercy & Company’s partners, Pete Jennings, says that the idea was always to create a “backdrop of beautiful simplicity” for the people who inhabit the building. “Fora wanted to create the experience of a boutique hotel, and each of their locations has its own identity depending on the area, but there is a link where you know they’re part of the same group.”
Fora wanted to create the experience of a boutique hotel, and each of their locations has its own identity