Although London is best known for its social life, it can’t be denied that a fair bit of working goes on here too. Luckily for some, the office doesn’t always mean ‘The Office’ with its politics, monotony and Ricky Gervais-style bosses. Here are some of London’s more interesting offices…
“Hello. We’re Ugli. You could be too”, declares the odd little office development opposite the BBC Television Centre. Ugli is an absolute state to look at. Featuring unparalleled views of the delightful cubes of Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush and the bleakly iconic White City, Ugli offers dynamic office space for creative and media types that’s ‘lovely inside’. It better be, as what’s outside resembles a festering concrete mushroom. But with its clean lines, hammock chairs and media wankery, the interior is a workers’ playground.
It’s been featured in Harry Potter and the Olympic marathons and people do actually work in this cheerful indoor meat, cheese and flower market, dotted with boutiques and tapas bars. Christmas reds, golds and grand glass arches make this fourteenth-century trading hub the perfect spot to shop when it’s cold outside – but quite a weird place to rent an office.
HMS President (1918)
What better location for office space than down in the bowels of a permanently-moored warship on the Thames? Originally disguised as a merchant ship to fool German U boats, the President now functions primarily as an event space for weddings, funerals and everything in between. Up on deck there’s a Gun Room, Ballroom, Ward Room and Captain’s Quarters and even bars for meetings, while downstairs there are fully-serviced offices complete with portholes and cabin curvature. It’s pretty special, although not one for those weak of stomach.
The tube trains above Village Underground
OK, so this isn’t exactly an office in the conventional, white collar sense, but you can work within these recycled Jubilee line train carriages, sleepers and graffitied shopping containers. Hovering above Great Eastern Street with high-spec warehouses at ground level, these environmentally-friendly studios are certainly a unique space. Not the warmest place to work in winter though; snow has been known to float through the tube carriage ceiling vents.
Fancy hiring a meeting room in a Buddhist sanctuary? How about balancing the books inside the old Lambeth Courthouse? Grab your yoga mat, garland those lotus flowers and head on down to the Jamyang Rooms, where you can meditate with monks on your lunch break (probably). A further reflection room, library and private gardens make this South London haven the perfect peculiar retreat for the uptight office worker. Natalie Harris
Do you work in an interesting office space? Comment below or tweet us @TimeOutLondon.