Located in a former carpet factory in Shoreditch, Second Home is a collaborative workspace for various small companies, featuring transparent acrylic walls, over a thousand plants and a so-called “flying table”. At the front of the two-storey space is a canteen restaurant where occupants are encouraged to interact with one another and share ideas. Inspired by Richard Rogers’ River Cafe, the area doubles up as an informal workspace. The main seating area is contained within the orange tunnel, described by the architects as a greenhouse. It features a curved bank of seating, painted with glossy orange paint, and a selection of mismatched chairs. Behind this is an events space that can be used for film screenings, music performances and lectures, as well as for company meetings and workshops. To ensure the flexibility in this room, it features a grand U-shaped meeting table that can be winched up towards the ceiling when not in use. Legs can be screwed on and off, to ensure stability when people are leaning on it. The various offices are spread out over two floors, all contained behind the bubble-like plastic partitions. These maintain views all the way through the building, from the front to the rear. The architects also added extra glazing to the outer walls to reinforce this visual connection. Some of the curvy glass enclosures are small workspaces for four to five people, while others can accommodate as many as 20, including several double-height spaces. Each one is soundproofed, thanks to the insulating properties of the acrylic. Mismatched chairs continue throughout the workspaces – in total there are 600 different types of chair in the building, as well as an assortment of different lighting fixtures. Hydroponically cultivated plants line the edges of every office, with many slotting into gaps in the surfaces. A “plant hospital” is located in a courtyard, for nurturing any unhealthy plants. None of the offices have kitchen areas, but staff can enjoy free coffee in the canteen. Corridors feature slightly lower ceilings than rooms. This is because ventilation ducts and other services have been concealed overhead, but also creates a feeling of openness in the workspaces.
Architects: José Selgas and Lucia Cano (selgascano) Architects
Team: Paolo Tringali, Víctor Jiménez, Bárbara Bardín, María Levene, Inés Olavarrieta
Construction Management: OD Group
Estructural Engineers: Tibbalds
Furniture Design: Selgascano / Secondhand design furniture Material: