LOCATED IN THE HEART OF CLERKENWELL, HERBAL HOUSE WAS ORIGINALLY BUILT IN 1929 TO HOUSE THE DAILY MIRROR’S FORMER PRINTWORKS AND HAS A LONG HISTORY ASSOCIATED WITH PRINTING, FILM AND PHOTOGRAPHY.
Allied London’s 2017 refurbishment of the building saw it converted into workspace and the reception design became the Studio’s first formal project.
The design takes inspiration from the existing architecture and the previous uses of the building, particularly the iconic photographer Irwin Blumenfeld who was active during the ‘40s and ‘50s and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. The narrative was built around the concept: Industrial Deco which relates to the existing architecture and the building’s heyday during the 1930s.
The use of bespoke elements such as fluted brass, concrete floor tiles with an art deco motif and black metal wall linings and balustrades work together to create an aesthetic that is scenographic and contrasts beautifully with the rough industrial nature of the existing building.
Furthermore, the lighting design for the space carefully picks up on key themes of the concept design and reinforces them: the use of reeded glass wall lights directly references the photographs of Erwin Blumenfeld and the concentric brass hoops of the feature chandelier is reminiscent of the film poster for Metropolis.
In parallel to the interior design, Allied London also delivered the brand identity and marketing of the entire development. By drawing upon the unique and integrative approach to marketing and interior design, we were able to create a single coherent vision for the whole project. The logo very much embodies the Industrial Deco concept and strikes a fine balance between the project’s heritage and modernity which underpinned the marketing strategy and collateral developed for Herbal House.