ConForm Architects has completed the minimalist office in London’s iconic Smithson Tower. Formerly known as the Economist Building - a modernist icon completed in 1964 by celebrated British architects Alison and Peter Smithson.
Following the Economist’s departure in 2016, the building has undergone extensive refurbishment, with each 335m² floor plate emptied and primed for individual leases. ConForm was commissioned to design a new headquarters for a financial client on the 11th floor, formerly home to the Economist library and archive.
The building’s octagonal layout had circulation around a single core and each office had partitions aligned with the perimeter façade’s columns. By stripping out around the central core, 360° views have been opened out. The workspace is sleek and contemporary but at the same time, the minimalist architecture feels homely and inviting, creating a comfortable, almost domestic working environment. The open floorplan adds to the steamlined look and directs the gaze towards the long views of the London skyline afforded by the windows. ‘The design responds to the contemporary move towards designing offices that are collaborative rather than cellular,’ explain the architects.