Moxon Architects completes LABS House, the new flagship site for LABS in Holborn

Moxon Architects, in collaboration with Od Interiors, has completed LABS House, the new flagship site the brand and the latest addition to the LABS Holborn campus. The 80,000 sq ft scheme sees the redevelopment of the existing Bupa House, located on Bloomsbury way, into a nine-floor co-working space with a combination of private and public member areas. The public areas feature a restaurant, two bars and working lounge, whilst the private members’ co-working areas feature 34 meeting rooms, 108 cellular offices, two members bars, an event and presentation space as well as numerous open plan collaborative workspaces and private phone booths.

With this new opening in the LABS Holborn Campus, LABS continues to create sophisticated, stylish, technology driven workspaces for startups all the way through to established businesses. The growing Holborn campus will allow large communities to collaborate across one of the most iconic areas of London, whilst realising the company vision for urban communities built with technology, innovation and people at its core.

Moxon’s nine-storey scheme, which has a capacity of 1,700, combines cutting-edge technology with market-leading facilities, all supported by a distinctive design that creates a unique and characterful place to work. The ground floor entrance has been reconfigured to provide co-working and break out space for both public and private member use. A newly formed double height atrium, is a crucial spatial intervention, and draws natural light into the open plan entrance which accommodates lounge seating and designated desk spaces for co-working.

The public area boasts a new casual dining restaurant with state-of-the-art kitchen facilities. A partially glazed ceramic-clad bar encloses the main kitchen to create a high-level dining zone in close proximity to the main cooking area whilst an adjacent 40-seater dining space also connects the restaurant with the main entrance and reception. An additional ceramic and marble clad public bar sits on the edge of the newly formed atrium and serves the entrance area.

Moxon’s creative approach sees the floors stripped back to maximise ceiling height and accentuate the buildings primary structure. The plaster on the existing columns has been removed to reveal the concrete encased steel, serving as a complementary material to the new pallet that includes oak, black metal, white ceramic tiles and exposed plywood joinery.

A second double height open plan space is located on the seventh floor of the building, offering views across northeast Holborn. Defined by a new bespoke black steel railing around the eighth-floor opening, the space will act as the building’s main event and presentation space. State-of-the-art audio-visual equipment has been strategically integrated within the space to facilitate functions and presentations for up to 300 people. A marble clad cocktail bar with a feature blockwork plinth flanks the main presentation area whilst bespoke seating booths and shelving provide pockets of casual seating areas across the floor suitable for working or relaxing. An entire wall of the existing core has been clad with bespoke plywood lockers to provide secure storage for members. Oversized lockers have also been provided to allow safe storage for foldable bicycles.

LABS House is the second development in the LABS Holborn Campus designed by Moxon Architects following the recent completion of the Southampton Place site. Moxon Architects sensitively transformed two mid-18th century Grade II* listed terrace properties within the Bloomsbury Conservation Area. The scheme included the complete refurbishment of both buildings as well as the conjoining of two non- original ground floor extensions to the rear of the properties. Due to the strict conservation restrictions, Moxon had to apply the lightest of touches to the listed areas of the buildings ensuring their original period architectural characteristics were preserved and protected.

Tim Murray, Director at Moxon Architects said,

“We have been delighted to work with LABS to create their new flagship site creating unique spaces that will support a new type of co-working for individuals and businesses, right in the heart of Holborn.”

Dotan Weiner, Chief Operating Officer at LABS, said,

“The workspaces we provide at LABS are designed to help businesses and entrepreneurs grow and deliver results. They are housed in some of London’s most iconic buildings and LABS House is no exception. The opening of LABS’ flagship space has been an exciting journey and we commend Moxon Architects for their ability to stay true to the existing character of this exquisite 18th Century building whilst creating a sophisticated, open and bright space for our members to work and collaborate.”