Victoria House is an imposing 1920’s Neoclassical Grade II Listed office building in the heart of Holborn. Hutchinson & Partners carried out an extensive and refined refurbishment for the workspace provider LABS. The building contains approximately three hundred thousand square feet of office space, alongside retail, hospitality, and event spaces, arranged over thirteen storeys.
The building sits on the eastern edge of Bloomsbury Square and was originally designed as the headquarters for the insurance company Liverpool and Victoria Friendly Company by the Architect Charles William Long. The building underwent an extensive refurbishment in the early 2000s by the acclaimed British Architect Will Alsop.
Hutchinson & Partners, in collaboration with the LABS Design Team, looked to reimagine the previous interventions into the building’s fabric as a contemporary reinterpretation of the character of the historic spaces, calling upon a complimentary palette of natural hard-wearing materials and evoking the elegant proportions of the original building, but detailed in a modern and minimal fashion. The aim was to align the sense of old and new, whilst retaining a strict sense of historical narrative that easily allows the viewer to delineate between the past and the present, whilst also allowing them to experience the building as a unified whole.
This emergent language has been used as a basis on which the evolving phased refurbishment of the wider building has been carried out. The ground floor spaces have been reworked to provide a series of social spaces, including a central bar, members’ lounge and informal meetings spaces, whilst the typical floorplates have been updated to provide flexible workspace clustered around a central axis that provides a social heart to each floor.
The project was shortlisted for the AJ Architecture Awards Best Heritage Building of 2021, and won an RIBA London Region Award in 2022.
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Photography is by Ståle Eriksen & Peter Guenzel