Changing Places

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The story of JTP’s move to Pennington Street Warehouse

All images in this book are the copyright of JTP unless otherwise stated.

A catalogue record of this book is available in the British Library.

A JTP Press Publication All Rights Reserved 2021 © JTP

ISBN 978-0-9573093-7-1 Printed by Online Reprographics

JTP Unit 5, The Rum Warehouse Pennington Street London E1W 2AP www.jtp.co.uk


Contents CHANGING PLACES 1 A lesson in empathy

NEW BEGINNINGS 13 Why move at all?

UNDERSTANDING 31 What makes a place?

ENGAGING 59 Can a workplace be all things to all people?

CREATING 75 What inspired our design?

SNAPSHOTS 99 How does our new home feel?

REFLECTIONS 155 What have we achieved?

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 173 Who made it possible?


CHANGING PL ACES

Changing Places A LESSON IN EMPATHY

The places we live are constantly in flux, often so slow as to be imperceptible, small organic shifts happening on a day-by-day basis. But with new development comes more rapid change, not just to how the physical environment looks, but more importantly to how we live our lives – the shop that supplies our everyday needs, the space our children love to play in, and the bench in the sun where we hatch ideas. As architects and masterplanners, changing places is, of course, what we do – inventing or reworking buildings and neighbourhoods, creating new places and breathing life into old ones. We’re painfully aware that our work could either enhance or detract from the quality of everyday life, and so we’ve developed a thoughtful process we like to call Collaborative Placemaking. This is about putting people at the heart of the creative process, unearthing the real needs of existing neighbourhoods, inspiring community spirit and building consensus. There is nothing we like more than creating places with those who use them on a habitual basis, so they are vibrant, valued and sustainable right from the outset. But this book is about an important change in place for ourselves, not others. It’s the story of the JTP London studio relocating from Clerkenwell to Wapping, leaving a wellestablished creative district for a rapidly transforming neighbourhood, and a simple industrial workspace for an extraordinary historic dock warehouse.

So, what happens when you train your professional thinking, creative techniques and heartfelt beliefs on your own workplace? This book charts a journey of organisational self-discovery. It shows what transpires when you embrace a neighbourhood, work with historic character, and take time to truly understand the personality, aspiration and everyday needs of your own business and talent. In short, it describes what happens when you practise what you preach. Along the way are insights and setbacks, sudden realisations and home truths, on our quest to understand and shape our future workplace. How could we use this opportunity to enhance our creativity, cross-fertilise ideas and address an unfulfilled desire to collaborate more? What could we do to improve the physical and mental well-being of our teams, increase sociability, and be sustainable? And how was this all possible within a limited budget, while respecting a listed building and connecting into the spirit of a longoverlooked place? This is our odyssey, our learning journey, the story of JTP changing places.

Marcus Adams Managing Partner JTP December 2020

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CHANGING PL ACES

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

At the time of finalising this book, the world and almost every facet of our lives have been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we transition to a world where we must live with the possibility of a viral resurgence on a more frequent basis, we can begin to see which parts of the old ‘normal’ world will return and which parts of this new world will shape our path forward. The impact of this moment will be significant. Amid a lot of speculation around the future of the workplace, we were deeply honoured that Pennington Street Warehouse (PSW) was named winner in the Corporate Workplace category at the 2020 British Council for Offices (BCO) London Awards. This accolade really acknowledges the importance of workplaces, not just as places to do work, but for the role they play as the hub of a community, often providing an economic boost to their localities.

We really believe that Pennington Street Warehouse challenges the preconceptions of what constitutes a workplace. The judges testified that this is somewhere that ‘put a smile on everyone’s face’. But this goes beyond the remarkable adaptation of the building or its commitment to sustainability. The studio symbolises something much more intangible. It is a place where we make and nurture friendships. A place where we have face-to-face interactions. A place where we feel a sense of belonging. A place where we gather around the temperamental hot-water dispenser to share tea-making strategies and other creative happenings. A place for accidental interactions. A place where we can mentor and be mentored. A place for informal development and networking that is so crucial, particularly early on in a career. What this award signifies is that the workplace is far from defunct. In fact, it is very likely to remain a fixture of future life. Working will inevitably change as we emerge from the pandemic, but we still believe the creative and collaborative studio remains as important as ever.

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Pennington Street Warehouse, 2019


Pennington Street Warehouse, 2019


Pennington Street Warehouse, 2019


NEW BEGINNINGS

SOMETIMES THE GREATEST RISK IS TO DO NOTHING


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NEW BEGINNINGS

Why move at all? Move building? Everybody? Eyes rolled at the mere thought of it. All the disruption, all the cost, all the uncertainty. How would staff react? What would clients think? What were the chances of finding a suitable space in this jam-packed city? But in truth, both our neighbourhood and our studio were not quite the fit they had once been. Not only had Clerkenwell moved on since we arrived over 25 years ago, so had we. In 1994, when JTP first opened its doors in Clerkenwell, it was a very different place. Quirky and affordable, it was perfect for a fledgling business. The two things were, of course, interrelated. A long-overlooked neighbourhood that was centrally located yet difficult to reach, Clerkenwell provided ideal conditions for a collage of urban life to develop and subsist, somewhat under the radar.

It was everything we looked for in a neighbourhood and tried to instill in the projects we designed: layers of history, intriguing streets and alleyways, welcoming public spaces, independent businesses and a sense of community – all combined to form a unique place, brought alive by contrasting energies.

From the start, we loved the eclectic market stalls of Leather Lane with their knock-off goods, old magazines and broken biscuits, the nightly drama of bloody aproned butchers at Smithfield Market, the surfeit of horologists, the brutal charm and high culture of The Barbican, the Italian enclave around Terroni’s delicatessen and St Peter’s Catholic church, lunchtime picnicking on Clerkenwell Green, and squeals of laughter from kids on the Peabody Estate.

Clerkenwell Road

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NEW BEGINNINGS

That said, we sorely missed fried egg sandwiches in the defunct ‘Tasty Cafe’, the avuncular owner of the hardware store and his encyclopaedic knowledge of tools and fixings, and having someone mend your shoes while you waited at Farringdon Tube Station. Perhaps this loss of connection with what Clerkenwell had been would’ve mattered less if we felt totally at home in our studio. But we didn’t.

An Expensive Pint at The Slaughtered Lamb

Over the years, things gradually changed, slowly at first and then with increasing speed, as Clerkenwell’s bohemian respectability, abundance of property and central location attracted the attention of property developers and media agencies shunted sideways by West End rents. Empty warehouses transformed into apartments and lofts. Vacant sites were filled with new workplaces. The huge volumes of Smithfield Market filled with sawdust and wooden butcher’s slabs were swept away, subdivided into tiny sanitised shop units and finished with a pastel-coloured paint job. In the beginning, the new influx of people helped local shops and cafés and gave rise to a thriving independent bar and restaurant scene – until, perhaps inevitably, along came Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Pizza Express.

This tale of gentrification – neighbourhoods becoming ‘victims’ of their own success – is a familiar one in London, and indeed in major post-industrial cities the world over. And we’re not blind to our own role in this process. Renowned urbanist Jane Jacobs once said ‘New ideas seem to need old places’, and it seems true that the first step in the transformation of underutilised urban areas seems to be creative souls looking for affordable accommodation and opportunities to grow and evolve both themselves and the spaces around them. But it would be absurd to begrudge Clerkenwell’s new residents and tenants, or question, their right to locate there. As placemakers, we fully understand this process of evolution. Everywhere has its moment and this varies for different audiences, tenants and inhabitants. One person’s version of urban heaven – characterful, gritty and a bit unkempt around the edges – is another person’s idea of hell. To each, then, his own.

The Tasty Cafe: gone but not forgotten

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TIPPING POINT

Our twenty-year stay in Clerkenwell involved three different workplaces, moving on from one to the next as we grew in numbers, evolved as a business and honed our design philosophy. By the time we pitched up at the last of these in 2008, Clerkenwell was allegedly home to the highest number of architects in the world, and we were using the design of our new studio at 23–25 Great Sutton Street to explore a burning passion of ours – sustainability. At that time, it was unusual to invest heavily in a rented building, but we saw the studio as an opportunity to research and develop – setting a new benchmark for what could be achieved with an existing warehouse. Every avenue was explored, from wool-insulated rooms and shower-water recycling, to photovoltaics and solar thermal panels for hot water and natural ventilation over air conditioning. Measures taken made for remarkable energy efficiency, had an enormously positive impact on well-being and absenteeism, as well as winning lots of awards and recognition. It was here at Great Sutton Street that our Collaborative Placemaking methodology was developed. Born out of JTP’s pioneering approach to Community Planning, this was a more holistic approach to development – a truly human-centric way of thinking, focussed around creating urban experiences that nurtured communities of shared interest, in characterful neighbourhoods.

NEW BEGINNINGS

This approach demanded much greater teamworking and a more agile workspace that could facilitate impromptu conversations, brainstorming and cross-fertilisation of ideas. However, our highly sustainable studio struggled to keep up. Sure, we had a fantastic Charrette Room – the stage for many a memorable placemaking session – but on an everyday basis, the limits of being physically split across four floors were taking their toll on communication and our ability to work together effectively. Heavily glazed walls were perfect for natural light and ventilation but left nowhere to pin up or share work in progress. Increasing storage needs were reducing working space, cutting work-bays apart and eliminating possibilities for eye contact and casual conversations. In our hearts, we knew that, although brilliant environmentally, the studio was not contributing to our new workstyle or supporting the flow of knowledge and spontaneous conversations from which placemaking innovation emerges. The impending arrival of Crossrail in Clerkenwell was accelerating the inevitable. The big city firms and retail chains that could offer strong covenants to landlords were pushing up rents. Finally, the day came when an increase in our own rent review arrived in the post. Enough to raise not one eyebrow, but two. And keep them there. A tipping point had been reached, and with all signs pointing towards change, we began to think about the positive effects a move might bring. Creative cogs began to turn.

THE SEARCH FOR A NEW HOME We had spent a great deal of time and money in making our rented workplace at Great Sutton Street the sustainable success story that it was, and part of the internal resistance to moving was the pain of leaving all this behind. What this clarified was that if we were to invest heavily again, the benefits had to last – it had to be our own property. So, we needed to buy somewhere. More than that, we needed a blank canvas we could shape to our own needs, in an area that reflected our belief in supporting regeneration. Our great city, especially in its central core, is notoriously difficult for finding properties that are unique and offer good value. The laments of developers and especially their land-buyers were well known to us. With their little black books, ear-to-the-ground and painstaking detective work, they went about their job of quietly seeking opportunities and assembling pockets of unloved space. What we needed was their help. Having worked on the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, we approached them. Yes, there was a space in Phase One. Yes, it was the right size. Yes, it was somewhere rapidly transforming with positive energy. But suddenly, it wasn’t available.

They too were growing fast as an organisation and needed the space themselves. We came very close to becoming their new office tenant, ahead of their spectacular Apple deal. Disappointingly, the deal fell through. But later, we’d be glad that it did. With every cloud there is a silver lining. With time ticking on the end of our lease in Clerkenwell, we scoured London for something suitable and pursued a series of wrong turns and dead ends until suddenly we remembered London Dock. Why hadn’t this occurred to us earlier? A number of years before, we had placed second in a competition to masterplan a colossal site in Wapping owned by a major client of ours, St George (part of the ever-successful Berkeley Group). Maybe it was the pain of losing the competition that had struck this place from our memory. But what we remembered more than anything was the remarkable 315-metre-long historic brick warehouse at the heart of London Dock, which had been earmarked as a potential cultural hub for the new residential neighbourhood. Was that a possibility? We called, and somehow convinced St George to at least allow us to visit.

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NEW BEGINNINGS

News International, Pennington Street, 2012

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NEW BEGINNINGS

News International generator, Unit 3 as we found it, 2016

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NEW BEGINNINGS

News International generator, Unit 3 as we found it, 2016

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NEW BEGINNINGS

The Vaults in 2016. Note the chalk outline of what will become the Atrium

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EUREKA!

Our first visit to Wapping proved exciting. For a start it was closer to ‘the action’ than we could ever have imagined: emerging out of the underground station, we were greeted by the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Londoners have a curious mental block about the eastern side of their city, an area largely overlooked as the capital grew out westward. It’s assumed to be far away; but it’s not. Here, we were right on the doorstep of the Square Mile, a short stroll from City Hall. Our own demographics had also changed in twenty years, which made Wapping an even more attractive option for us. When we first started out, Clerkenwell’s location had served us well, with the majority of the team living in North London. But the results of some judicious internal research had surprised us. With the rising rents many JTP staff had moved east and south-east. For a surprising number the journey to work would likely be cut, not lengthened. The London Overground and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) had opened up many travel options that simply didn’t exist before. Wapping itself was just what we were looking for – a place in flux. It felt alive, real, expectant.

NEW BEGINNINGS

The walk across the open expanse of St Katharine Docks was spectacular and sent spirits soaring. Then Pennington Street, with its unrhythmic cobbles, instilled more excitement. It was quiet and in need of some love, but had a magical air to it – old London, Dickensian even. Likewise, the numbered former dock buildings had an austere beauty to them. We were sure we’d found something special. Stepping inside Pennington Street Warehouse confirmed all this – right here was the place for us. It had an extraordinary calmness and presence. Designed to store precious imports in pristine condition over two hundred years ago, it positively oozed history, with raw brickwork, elegant arches, inexplicable scars, random nooks and unexpected crannies. We loved the surprise, the honesty, the beautiful inconsistency – it was a building of huge personality with enormous potential. Architecturally, it was exactly what we were looking for. A challenge without doubt, but we could immediately see the possibilities. In front of us stood a dark, unbroken series of brickwork arches untouched for decades. But we knew we could add a skylight, remove a section of ground floor and bring in sunlight to transform the magnificent vaults below. It required an act of imagination and a leap of faith, but we were convinced we could make it work.

At first, St George were a little reluctant to sell and we could understand why. Works to the Pennington Street Warehouse would be out of sequence. For them, it was on the back burner, one for the future. Their focus instead was on Gauging Square, the all-important first phase of reimagining London Dock that would set the tone for the next decade of apartment sales. They had buildings to build, infrastructure to deliver, a new public square to create and curate, and a new brand to establish. Negotiations were protracted – not just around the value of the property, but why it should be brought forward. In the end, our sheer enthusiasm, along with St George’s understanding of the benefits a creative business could bring to this development, clinched it for us. Suddenly the deal was done. It was smiles and handshakes all round. We had our new home. Now, the hard work could begin.

PRACTISING WHAT WE PREACH

As with Great Sutton Street, the design of the new studio evolved through a process of Collaborative Placemaking. This three-stage technique, honed by JTP over more than twenty years, revolves around detailed scrutiny and knowledge of a location, involving all stakeholders and user-centric place design to nurture a sense of community. First, we understand. Discerning the DNA of a place is fundamental to its success. Places have history, geography and micro-climates, as well as the social, cultural, political and economic energies that run through people’s daily lives. We don’t stop until we get under its skin to identify what makes it special. Then, we engage. By putting local people at the heart of the creative process we give them a voice and shared ownership in their own future. This creates goodwill, inspires community spirit and helps build consensus around a new vision. Finally, we create. This is the interpretation of collective vision, using our imagination to design new places and breathe life into old ones. Elegant solutions to complex problems, which bring people together and nurture strong communities. So, now it was up to us to start the process of really understanding the place we had just committed to.

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UNDERSTANDING

GETTING TO KNOW WAPPING & LONDON DOCK


UNDERSTANDING

What makes a place? Nestled between the north bank of the River Thames and the ancient thoroughfare known as The Highway, Wapping is steeped in history. From its transformation as a small riverside village into one of the busiest docks in London, to being seriously damaged during the Blitz, to being the centre of Rupert Murdoch’s printing and publishing empire – it has had many incarnations. Now, JTP finds itself in the heart of an emerging London neighbourhood that we hope to help positively shape and grow. ACT I: STUPENDOUS LONDON DOCK

As the capital grew, so too did consumption and, with it, demands on the banks of the River Thames for landing cargo. By 1558, twenty quays had appeared between London Bridge and the Tower of London. Poorly planned and inadequately policed, they were beset by chaos. Ships could wait a month to unload, taxes were evaded, and theft was prevalent. According to historic reports, a full quarter of goods ended up being pilfered by specialist thieves – scufflemongers and lighthorsemen, coalwhippers and long-apron men – rogues who thrived in a climate of disorganisation and lawlessness.

Despite this, by the late 18th-century, London had become one of the busiest ports in the world. As it grew in stature and trade expanded, demand increased for better landing and storage, as well as greatly enhanced security – especially for luxury commodities. These were now arriving by ship from all across the world – ivory, spices, coffee and cocoa as well as wine and spirits. These exotic goods needed better oversight during landing and in bonded warehouses before they were released to the capital and beyond. As a result, the construction of brand-new facilities began to the east of the Tower of London, including London Dock, East India Dock and St Katharine Docks. Cut deep into the banks of the Thames, these huge feats of Victorian engineering were surrounded by elegant brick-built warehouses and securely enclosed with an imposing perimeter dock wall.

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UNDERSTANDING

The London Dock complex, the first of the new facilities, was made possible by an act of Parliament passed in 1800, granting the London Dock Company permission to purchase land and construct a purpose-built cargo facility. Built at a then astronomical cost of more than £5.5 million, the private company received recompense from the government through the granting of a 21-year monopoly for all imported tobacco, rice, wine and brandy that had not originated in the East Indies. Designed by architects and engineers Daniel Asher Alexander and John Rennie, London Dock occupied a total area of about 90 acres and consisted of Western and Eastern docks linked through the short stretch of Tobacco Dock, with connections to the Thames through Hermitage Basin to the south-west, Wapping Basin to the south, and Shadwell Basin to the east.

London Dock, 1806

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UNDERSTANDING

After five years of construction, London Dock opened on 31 January 1805 to great pomp and circumstance, with the new docks greatly lauded as ‘stupendous and beautiful works’ by commentator George Courtney Lyttleton in his books The History of England, which were published at the same time. In his account of the opening day, Lyttleton describes how the first cargo of wine from Oporto was greeted by a vast crowd of all ranks of people assembled to witness the brig Perseverance, a vessel from Liverpool entering the docks. The event was announced by the discharge of cannon from the wharfs whilst the band on board played ‘God Save the King’. With its close proximity to the centre of the city, London Dock thrived for a century by facilitating the flow of luxury commodities from around the world. But its comparatively limited space, inconvenient lock entrances and lack of a direct connection to the railway eventually made it vulnerable to competition. As cargo vessels increased in size, new larger facilities were constructed further east along the River Thames, where more land and deeper water were located. With the opening of the Royal Albert Dock (1880) and also deep-water docks at Tilbury (1886), London Dock fell into a long, slow decline.

London Dock was one of the first enclosed commercial docks in London

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UNDERSTANDING

London Dock, 1963

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UNDERSTANDING

Alongside other fading cargo facilities in the east end, London Dock was taken over by the Port of London Authority in 1909. They oversaw several decades of managed decline until finally the advent of the container shipping revolution of the 1960s marked the death knell for the complex. On 30 September 1968, after 163 years of operation, the lock gates of London Dock closed for the last time and the facility fell into disrepair.

The last barrel, 1968

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UNDERSTANDING

ACT II: DEINDUSTRIALISATION

Painful times followed. Just as London had been one of the earliest cities to benefit from industrialisation, so it was among the first to suffer from its reverse effects. Between 1960 and 1980, shifts in technology and the forces of globalisation decimated inner-city industrial heartlands. More than 1.6 million jobs were culled across the UK and huge tracts of land were laid waste in east London. With no obvious future for London Dock, the land was sold to the Borough of Tower Hamlets, based on an (unrealised) ambition for reuse as public housing. These powerful forces were bent on erasing the past, modernisation was the future, and with a heritage lobby barely out of infancy, the end was in sight. The elegant historic warehouses were torn down, and the colossal Eastern and Western basins filled in. Sadly, only Pennington Street Warehouse, Spirit Quay in St Katharine Docks, and Tobacco Dock – which linked the Thames to Shadwell Basin – survived. The deindustrialisation of the 1970s marked a low point for urban dwelling, as the inner city hollowed out and the middle classes fled to the suburbs. Where once places like London Dock had teemed with life and represented a thriving economy, these abandoned areas now came to symbolise all manner of urban ills in the popular imagination. Shady, unpoliced areas with empty streets, vacant buildings and overgrown lots.

Wapping wasteland 1971

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UNDERSTANDING

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

With its empty warehouses, abandoned parking lots and an air of desolation, London Dock became a popular set location for iconic productions – many of which were shot in and around Pennington Street Warehouse. The Sweeney (1974)

The talk of its day, 1970s British police drama, The Sweeney, followed two members of the Flying Squad – a branch of the Metropolitan Police – as they tackled armed robbery and violent crime in London. The episode ‘Poppy’, which aired in 1975, sees a high-speed car chase down a deserted Virginia Street, alongside the derelict Pennington Street Warehouse, culminating in a shootout in the abandoned buildings. As with many Sweeney pursuits, things do not end well.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) The Long Good Friday (1980)

In the somewhat prophetic Long Good Friday, Bob Hoskins’ character Harold Shand, a prosperous English gangster, uncannily predicts the future of Wapping when he declares the 80s would be a new era for London with his vision of unbridled commerce built around a revived Docklands. And he wasn’t wrong. Since the film's original release, the renewal of the docks as a lustrous appendage of the City is the film’s most remarkable prescience.

The Bill (1983)

One of the longest-running British television series, The Bill is set in and around Sun Hill Police Station. The original station set was on the corner of Artichoke Hill and Pennington Street. However, the set was next to the News International printing works and during the industrial strikes there were altercations between the strikers and actors from The Bill, who were mistaken for actual police officers. Working conditions got so desperate that Sun Hill Police Station was relocated.

Tom Cruise came here to carry out an impossible mission for the sixth time. A twenty-minute scene sees Pennington Street Warehouse transformed as an underground safehouse for Ethan Hunt and his IMF team to meet and architect a different kind of master plan!

The World Is Not Enough (1999) Bond, James Bond, helped save global civilisation here. In the pre-title sequence of The World Is Not Enough, Bond (Pierce Brosnan) recovers ransom money taken from oil tycoon Sir Robert King (David Calder). But the money is booby-trapped and King gets killed in an explosion. Bond sees the assassin and chases her with a Q-modified speedboat down the canals of River Thames which, in actuality, is the ornamental canal at Wapping Lane.

Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Peter Parker might have been far from his home in New York, but Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Commander Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) were just a stone’s throw away from our home, Pennington Street Warehouse, whilst filming scenes around St Katharine Docks and walking through the newly developed business district of Moretown.

In this spin-off of the Fast & Furious franchise, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprise their roles as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw to battle a cybernetically-enhanced terrorist (Idris Elba) who is threatening the world with a deadly virus. The low stone arches of the Pennington Street Warehouse vaults give yet another stellar performance as Shaw’s armoury.

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UNDERSTANDING

ACT III: FORTRESS WAPPING

In 1979, a quiet land sale took place involving Pennington Street Warehouse and an open tract of London Dock. The purchaser? Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch – proprietor of News International and publisher of The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times and the News of the World. No one could have guessed this was to be the start of a chain of events leading to a violent struggle and an outcome that would forever change both the media industry and trade union movement in the UK. Fleet Street had been the centre of the British print industry for centuries, with The Times being printed there since 1785. Over time a powerful ‘closed shop’ trade union had grown up to improve and protect printworkers’ rights, which Murdoch saw as threatening the viability of the newspaper publishing business. Costs needed to be cut. In his estimation the production of papers in London required ‘three times the number of jobs at five times the level of wages’ as titles in other countries.

Wapping wasteland 1971

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UNDERSTANDING

Battle lines were drawn. In months of protracted negotiations, News International and the trade unions fought over new working practices requiring the end of the ‘closed shop’, a nostrike clause and flexible working. Unbeknown to both employees and union chiefs, News International were simultaneously building a new facility at London Dock, incorporating the latest Atex automated printing system imported from the United States. For those involved in fitting out the plant, the cover story involved the launch of a fictional newspaper for the capital, ‘The London Post’. The reality was more far radical. When negotiations between the unions and News International foundered, a strike was called, and on 24 January 1986 over 6,000 employees stopped work. Dismissal notices were immediately served on those taking part in the industrial action and, more shockingly for the strikers, newspaper production was switched overnight from Fleet Street to the new, secretly equipped plant in Wapping. Anticipating union hostility, the new facility was heavily secured, with the massive blank walls of the Pennington Street Warehouse protecting half the plant and high razor-wire fences surrounding the rest. In the headlines of the British press and the collective imagination of the country, this area was now ‘Fortress Wapping’.

The printers' dispute of 1986, Fortress Wapping

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UNDERSTANDING

The printers' dispute of 1986, Fortress Wapping

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UNDERSTANDING

ACT IV: A CITY MOVING EAST For more than a year the strike raged around London Dock. Local roads were closed. Hundreds of police were placed on duty each night to keep the peace along picket lines, as non-union labour was bussed in to keep the newspaper running and trucks shipped out daily editions. Costs were huge. Over £5m was spent on more than 1,250,000 hours of police time to control the dispute and 1,435 people were arrested. The first anniversary of the dispute marked the beginning of the end. Scores of strikers and 168 officers were injured as around 1,000 police with riot shields stormed the ranks of 13,000 demonstrators. Like the miners' strike of 1984, those involved were exhausted by the year-long battle and running dangerously short of money. The print unions capitulated and urged members to accept News International’s redundancy terms. By February 1987, the dispute had petered out. Within two years all newspapers had adopted the same new technologies and working practices. Fleet Street was finished as the centre of the UK newspaper industry. It was over. Printing, like the docks before them, had moved east.

News International continued to print The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and the News of the World at London Dock for more than twenty years until April 2008, when the last newspapers rolled off the presses and printing was relocated to a new facility off the M25. Over this period, under pressure for new development, London had started to grow eastwards. The redundant West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs became the location for Canary Wharf, a new financial hub for the capital, offering large contemporary office floorplates that were struggling to fit into the historic urban streets of the Square Mile. Where once the flow of goods had been important, now the east of London needed transport infrastructure for the flow of people – workforces commuting across the capital to this long-derelict area. The DLR led the way, a budget automated light metro system using redundant railway infrastructure opened in 1987 which increased accessibility and ended the sense of isolation which was inhibiting investment and grow. Just over a decade later came the Jubilee Line extension which dramatically improved connections to London Bridge, Waterloo, Central London and the fast-emerging Stratford interchange. Most recently, 2007 saw the launch of the London Overground system – a radical reworking of what was previously a poorly run network of suburban rail services.

Together, these improvement in transport infrastructure opened the way for development between the Square Mile, Canary Wharf and beyond. But London Dock had seen several false dawns. During the 1980s the refilled basins were developed for housing, served by Tobacco Dock, and a new shopping centre was designed within one of the characterful surviving warehouses. Billed as the Covent Garden of the east, it was unfortunately ahead of its time. Lacking a critical mass of surrounding housing, the retail stores struggled to survive, lasting just five years before closing down. Today, the buildings have been recast as a more successful event space and home to a small co-working community. But finally, the time for London Dock had come. In 2013 the site was acquired from News International by developer St George. Their vision was to create a new urban quarter extending the life and vitality of St Katharine Docks eastwards to Tobacco Dock. It envisaged 1,800 new homes, around 7.5 acres of public open space, and a fully refurbished Pennington Street Warehouse acting as a cultural hub for the new community. The first step is Gauging Square, with its fountains, cafés and restaurants, setting the placemaking tone for ten years of development.

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UNDERSTANDING

London Dock on the City’s doorstep

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UNDERSTANDING

ACT V: EBB & FLOW

It’s remarkable to think that, throughout two centuries of rich history at London Dock, our new home, Pennington Street Warehouse, stood almost untouched. Through this time, it witnessed the heyday of sailing ships, survived World War II bombing raids and savage deindustrialisation and stood firm in trade union battles. Now, ever present and full of potential, it is poised to play a new role in fast-moving urban revitalisation, as the city sweeps ever eastwards. Located on the northernmost edge of what was London Dock, it runs tight along the cobbles of Pennington Street, with barely a pavement to speak of. It is a single-storey brick building with a pitched roof above a semi-basement of vaulted brickwork arches. The ground floor, which is divided into five separate sections, seems curiously elevated above street level, but was devised to accommodate the long-gone quayside level of the docks that once lay to the south.

Designed by the Dock’s surveyor, engineer Daniel Alexander, the Grade II-listed building was constructed in several phases between 1804 and 1806 and is one of the largest surviving Georgian warehouses in London. While simple in form it’s an extraordinary 315 metres in length, with a north façade designed to secure the northern boundary wall of London Dock and therefore devoid of windows. Internally the walls to the north elevation incorporate a structure of arches and inverted arches which were created to provide access during construction, then bricked up on completion. To the south, the elevation is a little more open, incorporating loading bay openings once used for transporting barrels from the quayside. The elegance of Pennington Street Warehouse is clearly appreciated by author George Courtney Lyttleton: The quays belonging to this magnificent undertaking [London Dock] are of immense length, with a shed over the front, for covering goods as they may be landed ... On the spacious quay at the north side of the dock, there are five distinct piles of buildings, each containing six divisions of warehouses. The cellars are ten feet high, and compleatly [sic] arched over, with an earthen flooring, beat down to equal the firm substance of brick, which is three feet above the level of the water.

From a most minute survey of these magnificent works, it is evident that the ingenious and able architect, has sedulously aimed at blending, and succeeded in the accomplishment of a work which at once unites simplicity and grandeur of appearance, and which may justly be viewed as a chef "d'oeuvre of its kind. What is overlooked is the uniqueness of the basement vaults, which to this day form part of the longest complex of continuous cellars in the UK. Designed to store barrels of high-value alcohol, they were secure, protected from light and had a cool, stable temperature to aid preservation, with a ventilation system embedded within the thick brick walls that drew fresh air from outside. Large barrels of rum were one of the principal products stored, to the extent that the building became known as ‘The Rum Warehouse’, although ledgers and photographic archives reveal an extensive array of other products including exotic spices. The excavation of the vast basement vaults created huge volumes of spoil, which was shipped upriver to Pimlico to prepare the low-lying area located there for development. Pennington Street Warehouse itself was also built on marshy, reclaimed ground, with foundations constructed of deep brick walls corbelling out and supported on oak piles. The inverted arches set into the external walls were most likely incorporated to mitigate the settlement and movement that was envisaged in this poor ground.

During the News International years, part of Pennington Street Warehouse housed service areas for the printing presses, including ink storage, plant machinery and generators. Other areas housed journalists, with one room famously including a wall covered with The Sun’s most notorious front pages. From 2006 to 2009 the building accommodated the headquarters for News International’s shortlived free daily, The London Paper. As we began to contemplate how we would go about the design of our new workplace, the refurbishment of Pennington Street Warehouse’s shell and core were already underway. Undertaken by St George with heritage specialists Richard Griffiths Architects, a new entrance lobby incorporating a lift and staircases was created through the removal of four stone pillars. The external façade was being carefully cleaned, and the arches stripped of layers of paint and plaster removed to reveal the beautiful original brickwork. After a long fifty-year slumber, Pennington Street Warehouse was finally waking up.

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A STUDIO FOR ALL, MADE BY ALL


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Can a workplace be all things to all people? Social activist and urban writer Jane Jacobs often lamented that ‘cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.’ This maxim is utterly and completely relatable to buildings. And we can attest to that. Ask any of our staff, peers, collaborators or people in neighbourhoods in which we work what makes JTP different from other architects and masterplanners. One word will come up time and again – engagement. For more than twenty-five years, we have led the way in community engagement, pioneering new techniques that utilise the knowledge and energy of local stakeholders, that underpin Collaborative Placemaking. Why do we do this? For two very good reasons. Firstly, because no one understands local places better than the people who live there; the history, personalities, collective memories, rituals, problems, delights, quirks and nuances. Secondly, because the potential for success is so much greater with stakeholder engagement. We’ve seen our processes deepen understanding, engender a sense of shared ownership and facilitate the creation of a collective vision.

The results of this Collaborative Placemaking approach dramatically accelerates decisionmaking processes, breaks down barriers, and can turn hostile and adversarial attitudes into more constructive and beneficial forms of dialogue. This is not ‘design by committee’. This is harnessing the ‘wisdom of crowds’. How do we do this? We listen and learn, facilitate discussion, challenge norms. We bring people of all ages and backgrounds into the same room and encourage them to exchange ideas and opinions, identify problems and propose their own solutions. We explore these issues together in design charrettes – intensive workshops in which a range of well-informed minds work together over a concentrated period of time. Then we coordinate these ideas into concise visions and plans of action, using our design skills to then give this consensus a visual and physical form. So, we have practised what we preach.

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ENTER SPACELAB Our approach to the design of our new studio needed to evolve out of a collaborative approach, but we could see a problem. Despite decades of experience, could we facilitate our own process? Would we be able to work with the same degree of objectivity and insight as on our other projects? Or would we be too defensive about our own organisational shortcomings? Turn a blind eye to issues we really needed to address? Ignore nagging doubts about our existing studio or ways of working? In short, how could we circumvent ingrained ideas, entrenched habits and ways of working that might stand in the way of innovative solutions? It was a huge decision for the practice, but in our hearts we knew. If we wanted institute real change, create a workplace that truly nurtured Collaborative Placemaking, then we needed an external agency to hold a mirror up to the organisation.

Highly recommended by those we trusted, we commissioned workspace experts Spacelab to provide us with that all-important independent view. Armed with a raft of datadriven analytical techniques and a deep understanding of how organisations behave in space, we knew they could help; understanding not only where we stood at that point, but how our workplace could better support and nuture the way we work in the future. Immediately they were met with a barrage of questions. How could we improve communication and collaboration? Can we make better use of space? In what way might the design of workspace impact our quality of work? How can we better enable staff to do their job? And, perhaps most probing, were we even ready for change? But answers to these questions had to wait. First the analysis. There was something strange about having the tables turned, but we acquiesced to Spacelab’s scrutiny. For a week they patiently observed how we worked – measuring, counting, recording and gradually turning our day-to-day activities into streams of data for examination. After this study came the partner and staff workshops. Then stakeholder interviews. And finally, an anonymous online survey. As the days rolled by, they developed deeper and deeper insights into who we were, what we did, and how we were currently going about it.

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EIGHT THINGS WE LEARNED ABOUT OURSELVES

The results were fascinating. We comforted ourselves that some observations confirmed our expectations. But there was much more besides. We couldn't argue with surprising outcomes uncovered by their data-driven approach. Some things about our workplace were simply not how we perceived them to be.

We weren’t working at our desks Well, we were, but not nearly as much as we thought. We genuinely believed our studio was heaving – with more than 90% of staff in the office present at all times. In reality, Spacelab found that, on average, just 78% of employees were in the office at any given time. What’s more, the workspaces we imagined were occupied 75% of the time were actually empty for more than half the time.

Storage was wreaking havoc In our hearts we knew storage space was an issue, but it was worse than we thought. Spacelab calculated this was just over 8% of our Net Internal Area (NIA), which was more than twice their recommended benchmark of 4%. The central filing approach had been designed for a time when paper documents were still critical and located in close proximity to staff.

So, lots of desks were unused, which was highly inefficient. And yet, how could we address this when the survey showed 75% of staff thought having their own desk was important?

Over the years, these had never been culled. Cabinets were overloaded and had come to dominate the space. Sightlines were blocked, and as a result project team bays felt like silos.

No space for collaboration & creativity All the storage and layout inefficiencies were taking a toll elsewhere. Spacelab calculated our workspaces occupied only around a third of the floorplate (35%) when this should’ve been closer to half. So, it was no wonder staff feedback cried out for ‘more room around our desks so that people can come and work alongside us’. Over time we had gradually become more shoehorned in. There was no space for critical deskside conversations, which felt psychologically uncomfortable and distracted those in adjacent workspaces. Indeed, we were so short of pin-up space and informal meeting areas that it was growing increasingly difficult to function as a design studio.

Not all meeting spaces were made equal Only one-third of staff felt they were able to get a meeting space when they needed one. Yet average meeting room occupancy was just 50%. Something about this just didn’t make sense. But the interviews offered more insights, with staff suggesting ‘lots of our meetings could take place in much more informal space, with soft seating’ or ‘small charrette areas would be fantastic’. So, there was our answer. It wasn’t that people couldn’t book a meeting space – it was that they couldn’t get the one they felt was most conducive to the task in hand. We now knew we needed to pay far greater attention to how the character of collaborative workspace could actually influence outcomes, and understand the role of technology, physical attributes, and the atmosphere of a space in facilitating all-important conversations and design activities.

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The great divide was ruling We were disappointed. Spacelab’s report told us that, although knowledge sharing and learning sat at the very heart of the JTP ethos, less than half our employees believed the office design facilitated this. One comment in particular struck at the heart of the issue: ‘The four floors really separate us all. I never see half the people in the practice.’ Quite simply, the physical configuration of our Great Sutton Street studio was acting as a barrier to advancing our thinking, inhibiting face-toface communication and with it, the crosspollination of ideas and innovation.

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We prioritised the wrong connections Before Spacelab undertook their Study of Interaction, we believed that project teams should be at the ‘centre’ of things – as they drove business. We imagined all manner of benefits were created through proximity and interconnection between architectural staff. But while these were important, what we learned was that these links were not as critical as day-to-day interactions between project teams and functions such as community planning, HR, finance, graphics, marketing and administration. So, we needed a fundamental rethink. These key players needed to be together at the heart of the studio, where they were visible, close at hand and ready to assist the project teams.

We had an environmental blind spot Our Great Sutton Street studio was conceived as a paragon of sustainable design, a ‘practise what we preach’ statement of intent that won an armful of awards. For more than a decade of occupation, we had been diligently monitoring our performance against thirty sustainability measures. But when doing benchmark research for our new workspace, we discovered a completely new area of concern – volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chemicals – often found in building materials, furnishings, fabrics, cleaning products, solvents and paint finishes – pose a significant health hazard when encountered in high concentrations over long periods of time. So, when we took our first readings of VOCs prior to moving, to create a benchmark for the new studio, we were dismayed to find these were surprisingly high – well beyond what we felt was acceptable.

We had mixed messages about change There was a lot of excitement about the new studio and the opportunity it presented to transform our approach to work. But feedback from Spacelab highlighted that this was far from unanimous. At one end of the spectrum were those happy to ‘work anywhere as long as I can log in, have a space to draw and a space to meet my team’. But further work was needed to understand the concerns of 20% of staff who said they were ‘not at all or only a little’ open to more flexible ways of working, and to address the contradiction that 78% of all staff felt having their own permanent desk was important.

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MANAGING CHANGE So, there it was. The results were in, with lots of important learnings from Spacelab’s work. There were things we were getting right, confirmation of areas we knew we needed to address, and a number of deep insights about our work culture that could only have been revealed to us by others.

The idea of Change Management developed in the 1960s and quickly evolved into a systematic approach to dealing with organisational transformation, purposeful tactics and strategies used for effecting and controlling change, and, perhaps most importantly, helping people adapt to new circumstances.

What was crystal clear about the Pennington Street project was that it was not simply a design exercise; rather, what we were about to undertake was wholesale organisational change. Sure, it would need to look fantastic, but more fundamentally it needed to better reflect who we were and what we believed in and inspire new working practices that would raise the bar on our Collaborative Placemaking.

At JTP, we had long recognised that our Collaborative Placemaking approach was in effect ‘Change Management’ for urban environments. Bringing local people together to understand the problems they faced, and then helping them to accept, shape and then promote the change they needed to see in their neighbourhood. Drawing on this experience, we outlined a series of strategies and tactics we felt could ease the transition from established behaviours at our Great Sutton Street Studio into the new methods of collaborative working, sociability and use of space we wanted to institute at Pennington Street.

Most of all, this was a journey we needed to bring every member of staff on because, without their support and enthusiasm, this was not going to work. What we needed was a process of Change Management.

I. Shared ownership Our first Change Management tactic was to involve the whole organisation in setting the brief. What did we want our move to achieve? Between April and July 2016, a great debate took shape focussed around a partners’ retreat and three staff workshops. By midsummer, thoughts had coalesced, ideas had landed, and a comprehensive vision and plan finally emerged. There was a presentation to the practice. Then further discussion. As a survey was launched to flush out any individual doubts, we knew that concerns still existed, ones which couldn’t be voiced in front of others. Sure enough, there were concerns the new studio would have ‘too many rules’ and cramp styles. For the technically minded there was a need for more detail on practical matters. For the aesthetes, there were in-depth conversations about specific materials, floor finishes and furniture solutions – which was only to be expected as, after all, practically everyone was an architect. Finally, for those sensitive about changes to everyday life, there were incidental meetings, heart-to-heart conversations, empathy and encouragement.

II. Seeing is believing In January 2016, Spacelab presented at our weekly Soundbites session – a lunchtime idea-sharing forum for JTP staff. Together, we learned about the latest ideas in agile working and the future of the office. A month later, we went on a visit to Spacelab’s own office, as well as those of several of their clients, to experience first-hand what change would mean and discuss with those who worked there the pros and cons of this approach. For some, the impact was immediate. Decluttering began the moment they returned to Great Sutton Street, with desks and pedestals cleared of all files and papers to see how it felt. Others waited until a collective decision was taken to move to an agile desk policy. The entire studio took a trip to Pennington Street Warehouse before construction began to experience the space. This was aided by the creation of a 3D virtual model for viewing on an Oculus Rift headset, which proved very popular, giving employees a more physical and interactive experience of their future workspace than static computer generated images.

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III. Testing, testing As conversations about future workstyles and office design progressed, a research and development phase began. Everything that could be tested in advance was brought under scrutiny. We started with lockers, with one team acting as guinea pigs for trialling our paperless office. Guess what? They were too small. So, we started again and worked with the furniture company to make them bigger. We bought caddies for personal effects. The first set didn’t even fit in the lockers. The next batch were more carefully targeted. Next up were smart walls – which promised to be both writable and magnetic, but took a while to become either, then finally both. This was all good fun – an ongoing source of debate and conversation in the office, with the intention of not only getting things right, but also building a collective sense of ownership. We started nudging behavioural change. For more than a decade we’d been minimising waste, but it was time to up the ante. Could we change more habits before we left, to make the transformation easier? Plastic bags were a major problem, so everyone was given a reusable, JTP-branded hessian one. Grumblings were headed off with incentives. Show us you’ve used it every day and we’ll buy you a meal. While it’s true there is ‘no such thing as a free lunch’, giving up plastic bags seemed a small price to pay.

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IV. Thankless tasks Oh, how very easy it was to commit to the idea of a clutter-free, paperless office – and yet so difficult to achieve. The team in charge started by questioning existing behaviours. Did we really need all these paper copies of letters? Wouldn’t those product brochures be more up to date online? Wasn’t it enough to know we had digital copies of old drawings? With a little ‘gentle persuasion’, new working approaches emerged and stemmed the flow of paper. Then began the huge job of clearing the office. Reams of paper were recycled, but nowhere would take the boxloads of liberated document folders, files and stationery. Schools, colleges and community groups were contacted, and gradually everything found a new home, including old library books which were shipped to Africa by a charity. How long did this take? Two. Whole. Years.

With a month to the move it had all gone, a decade-worth of material. All that was left was a carefully curated library of books, important reference documents and a greatly loved archive of hand-drawn sketches from days of old. Oh yes, and everyone’s personal stuff. The two-year process of getting rid of project filing proved to be a walk in the park compared with getting rid of the archaeological remains of personal artifacts that had been laid down over more than a decade. Attachment to all manner of old CDs, clothing, pens, magazines, shoes, dead phones, souvenirs, photographs and other variables was fierce. It was getting personal. We were impacting on habits, memories and everyday routines. The design team sensed timing would be everything and left this painful act of purging to the very last minute. And they were proved right. When staff saw the incredible purity of the new space, opinions changed. What once seemed precious came under question. Ten percent of their ‘treasure’ went home and the rest went in the recycling bin. We could hear the new studio sigh in relief.

V. Collective attachment In October 2018, as the new studio neared completion and the move to Pennington Street drew closer, it was time to shift mindsets. An office trip was organised to Wapping to start engaging staff with their future neighbourhood. Teams were tasked with different research themes, and a day-long investigation was undertaken. Streets were walked, pubs and restaurants judged, shopkeepers interviewed, and community facilities uncovered. Everything was captured in photographs, notes and sketches – some were even moved to write poems about what they experienced. We shared our findings over drinks in the evening. Beside the magnificent, historic pubs perched on the banks of the Thames, we were struck by two things in particular. First, the surprising quantity and range of open spaces, from pocket parks, courtyards, squares and stretches of water to woodlands, lanes, alleyways and even beaches. You just needed to know where to look. Second, the strong sense of community in Wapping. Talking with owners and employees of independent shops, creative businesses, artists’ communities and cultural organisations, staff were impressed by the sheer positivity, resilience and togetherness they encountered. A powerful bond was formed with our new neighbourhood.

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VI. Military operation Then the move. How should we manage that? First, spare a moment’s thought for the diligent souls whose task was to quantify and measure everything that had passed the harsh audition to join us in the new office – plotters and printers, architectural models, charrette equipment, stationery and kitchen equipment. Everything, right down to the teaspoons, was assessed and then assigned a new home at Pennington Street. Before they even existed, each and every new cupboard and drawer was mapped out, display space carefully curated, and library shelf space assigned. New computer servers were purchased to ease the transition, all tried and tested before we upped sticks, to minimise disruption. On the day of the move, excitement mounted and camaraderie formed. Crates were loaded, meticulously labelled. Then a crisis. Late in the day the computer removal crew cancelled and it was then all hands on deck. The IT team at JTP literally worked night and day, and miraculously, two days later, everything was up and running again.

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VII: Constant change So, that’s how we went about Changing Places. A carefully considered management process involving design innovation, logistics and psychology – used to transform JTP from one way of working to another. Of course this was never going to stop the minute we moved in. A period of ‘settling in’ was always envisaged. Not just to deal with the inevitable teething problems that come with every complex build but, more importantly, to support and nurture new workstyles and behaviours. First up, the creation of a Facilities Manager role – a dedicated individual (in every sense of the word) tasked with keeping our myriad of new workspaces running smoothly. Someone that loved the idea of running a frictionless environment where sophisticated equipment (interactive displays, video conferencing, data projection) could foster dynamic collaboration and spark new conversations.

Then, the introduction of new rituals to bring people together. Like elevenses, or rather, what the Swedish would call ‘fika’ – ostensibly healthy snacks and coffee in the Hub, but in reality, a coordinated mid-morning break for employees to spend a little time with each other. Indeed, shared moments of eating and drinking throughout the day were instituted to oil the wheels of sociability, knowledge sharing and bonhomie. From the birth of The Breakfast Club, to a willing embrace of communal lunchtimes in the Hub (goodbye ‘al desko’), through to the Friday evening Gin Club created by one of our tenants. All these new moments were the outcome of a purposeful plan, to use the design of Pennington Street Warehouse to strengthen team bonds and operate as an organisation in a way we felt reflected our Collaborative Placemaking beliefs.

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REALISING OUR VISION


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What inspired our design? We’ve understood all we can find to understand. Engaged with everyone involved, and together created a vision. Now we must bring this to life. What will make this place special? Where is its soul? How do we make this our home? This stage is pure imagination. It’s not just about how things work or fulfil practical needs. It’s dreaming up environments that inspire us, free our minds, excite our thoughts, lift our spirits and nurture our friendships. FOUR PRINCIPLES

There were a huge number of ideas. An embarrassment of riches. Big strategic moves. Elegant concepts for ‘look and feel’. Practical considerations, technical solutions and a sprinkling of quirky thoughts that made us smile. We fought them into some sort of order, and four principles emerged out of the complexity. First, we see an Architectural Principle built around respect. We mean this in every sense. Respect for the history and culture of London Dock. Respect for the character of the warehouse itself. Respect for the quality and provenance of everything we add. We had to remember, we are only the building’s present owners. It has existed long before and will outlive us all. How should we care for it on our watch? Second, is an Organisational Principle centred on collaboration. We know that when we work together we create our very best projects. We’ve also learned more about how the design of different spaces – and their scale, atmosphere,

and provision of physical and digital tools – can significantly enhance how we think and interrelate with each other. How should we plan and structure our studio for even better project outcomes? Third, we see a clear influence of the JTP ‘family spirit’ in calls for a Human Principle centred on heath and well-being. This is not about including faddish ideas, but rather addressing our deeper concerns about the role of the workplace in nurturing healthy and meaningful lives. From the moment we arrive to the moment we stop, we needed to consider one question – how can this place care for us? Finally, we always knew the studio would be built around a strong Ethical Principle and commitment to sustainability. This is in our DNA. Not just environmental concerns, but also economic and social dimensions. How far could we push this time? What could we achieve beyond the awards and plaudits received for Great Sutton Street?

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1.RESPECT: ARCHITECTURAL PRINCIPLE

London Dock was massively impacted by post-war planning, a time when elegant historic buildings and traditional urbanism were swept away in a bid to modernise the area. Looking at Pennington Street Warehouse today, it is difficult to imagine this mindset. It is an extraordinary undertaking. An essay in brick engineering, created by unknown hands two centuries ago, and still beautifully intact. Although its context and use may have changed throughout the decades, the building continues to radiate a serene sense of permanence, calmly indifferent to time. What were they thinking? We all knew this historic fabric should be the starting point for our creative thinking – a sensitive but dynamic adaptation of a Grade II-listed warehouse. Our goal then – to appreciate and work with the idiosyncratic character and spaces of the building, respecting both unique architectural features and the everyday scars of its former life. We set out knowing that the design must go far beyond aesthetics. We wanted it to question the norm, without having to ‘shout loud’ or be needlessly radical, whilst at the same time reflecting its past, present and future. We wanted to create something that would enrich and enliven the lives of people who are going to use it both now and in years to come. As with all timeless buildings with ageless architecture, we knew the details were essential without needing to be overtly fashionable. We wanted the renovation work and new interventions to be a secondary feature, allowing the historical beauty of the original building to be the primary focus.

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MEZZANINE

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AT R I U M

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N E T : 469 SQ M (5050 SQ FT) G R O S S : 5 0 0 S Q M ( 5 3 7 7 S Q F T )

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N E T : 382 SQ M (4113 SQ FT) G R O S S : 5 1 0 S Q M ( 5 4 9 5 S Q F T )

THE MEZZANINE

ROOM

N E T : 257 SQ M (2763 SQ FT) G R O S S : 3 7 1 S Q M ( 3 9 9 2 S Q F T )

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The Atrium, 2017. Hundreds of steel pins were used to hold up the Vaults.

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The Atrium, 2017. Hundreds of steel pins were used to hold up the Vaults.

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2. COLLABORATION: ORGANISATIONAL PRINCIPLE

As we collaborate increasingly across studios, projects and disciplines, we wanted a space that enabled this to happen fluidly every day. Our work has become more complex and interconnected, and we spend less time working alone and more time collaborating, learning and socialising. Delivering a workplace to satisfy the productivity and collaboration needs of different groups, with different workstyles and cultural preferences, was a complex challenge. Throughout the design process, we learned a lot about our own workstyles, habits and behaviours, and also about how the design of different spaces can significantly enhance how we interrelate with each other. To this end, the design renders the building entirely reconfigurable – with flexible space which can take on different roles at different times. It provides the opportunity to continually trial, test and better understand how we work and, most importantly, how we want to work in future. Ultimately, it is a space to welcome everyone – employees, our surrounding community and our clients. Offering co-working space, exhibition space and event space, it provides an adaptive environment to accommodate a variety of functions. It’s a space to showcase work, to host, to celebrate and to bring people together.

The shell and core works are complete, June 2018

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3. HEALTH & WELL-BEING: HUMAN PRINCIPLE

Since the very start, we’ve been embedding healthy placemaking approaches across all our projects, to ensure whatever we do has a positive impact on the everyday lives of the communities we design for. So, it was easy to agree that the new studio needed to reflect this ethos. We all spend a great proportion of our lives at the workplace, carrying out complex projects with steady streams of deadlines. Handled poorly, the outcome is stress, which can quickly take a toll on physical health and mental well-being. We needed a space that was good for us in every way imaginable, somewhere to nurture and sustain our minds and bodies, and nudge us towards good habits and healthy behaviours. Getting here While urban life can be full of rich experiences, for most, its greatest downside is the commute to work. Squeezing through crowded stations, sitting in traffic jams or dealing with the impact of disrupted public transport are stresses we could all do without. From the start, we saw that one of Pennington Street’s great assets was accessibility, with staff able to choose between the Underground, Overground, DLR and local buses. So, when things go wrong, as they inevitably do, there is always a plan B.

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But what better than to make the commute your exercise for the day? At Great Sutton Street we had always encouraged cycling and jogging to work – indeed there was a running joke (no pun intended) that we cared so much that the bike store was the best room in the office. At Pennington Street Warehouse, we felt we needed larger, more easily accessible cycle storage as well as luxury showers, lockers and fluffy towels. Then someone mentioned the British weather. So, a dry room was added to the brief to provide somewhere for drying clothes. Breathing space In workplace design there is a received wisdom that suggests everything should be close at hand, that we need to keep things efficient to ensure people don’t waste time. But where is this idea coming from? Most likely modernity – the logic of industrial production and the fetishisation of productivity. In this world, time is money. But we know that knowledge work, like architecture, masterplanning and placemaking, is different. Ideas and inspiration don’t work to a timetable. Progress comes in fits and starts, with long periods of trial and error followed by sudden insights. ‘Aha!’ moments. And, as we thought this through, we had one ourselves.

We decided that, to nurture a healthy and active work life, the design of the studio needed to do something completely counterintuitive, and subtly disrupt sedentary desk work to encourage movement and interaction. Our idea was to create ‘breathing spaces’ within the studio, physical places located away from desks that people would need to visit on a regular basis, that provided opportunities for staff to pause or relax, before deciding what to do next. This meant bringing tea and coffee points to a single central location, grouping all the printers and plotters together elsewhere, and even creating banks of restrooms rather than spreading them around. We sensed that by doing this we would encourage people to keep moving, across and between floors, increasing both physical activity and casual conversations. Biophilia Scientists have proved that humans have a deep subconscious affiliation with the natural environment, although even a short walk in the woods can provide enough evidence to see that this is true. Recently though, biophilia – the love of nature – has become an important topic in the well-being debate. Incorporating nature into the workplace delivers significant benefits – cleaner air, lowering of stress and enhanced mental health. This improved state of mind brings with it increased concentration, creativity and even a reduction in absenteeism. What’s not to like?

A plan was hatched to incorporate large-scale planting through the studio in key locations, where staff could easily see or be close to greenery. However, not all nature is made equal. Or at least not in our eyes. So, for intensively used surfaces such as the kitchen servery worktop and reception desk we proposed to use anti-microbial products, to stop the spread of micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi and mould. Banishing VOCs Sick building syndrome. If it sounds bad, the reality is worse. Imagine a workplace full of materials, finishes, furniture and fabrics that are slowly emitting formaldehyde and a host of other unwholesome chemicals that cause irritation, breathing and skin problems, headaches, fatigue and nausea – because that’s what is happening in most offices. If a something smells ‘new’, it’s most likely a VOC. Even in our former studio at Great Sutton Street, which had great natural ventilation, we found levels far higher than anticipated. We decided that at Pennington Street Warehouse things would be different. It was going to be tough, but we set the ambition to be a VOC-free studio environment. In design, construction and occupation we would be vigilant in our specification of materials and finishes. The VOC police were formed, and every paint, timber, fabric, item of furniture and cleaning product placed under the microscope.

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4. SUSTAINABILITY: ETHICAL PRINCIPLE

You. Yes you. We’re talking to you. You’re reading this but already glazing over. We can sense it. And that’s the problem with the issue of sustainability in architectural projects. It’s just not as sexy as design. But really, we shouldn’t even be writing about it; it should just be happening. Forget legislation. We are in a state of climate emergency and now, more than ever before, we should be doubling down on sustainability and taking responsibility for our own impact on the world. At our previous studio, sustainability had been front and centre of all our design decisionmaking. So, Pennington Street Warehouse presented an opportunity to build on past experience, push ourselves harder, explore what is possible within a listed historic building, and minimise our energy consumption, carbon emissions in construction and occupation, waste, and just about everything else. Here’s the roadmap we chose.

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BREEAM The BREEAM methodology allows for comparable assessment of sustainability strategies and examines performance across the whole built environment life cycle from construction to building-in-use to refurbishment. The criteria examine a wide range of factors including energy and carbon, transport, use of water, nature of materials, approaches to waste, pollution and building management. While listed building status places constraints around the use of more advanced and exacting sustainability strategies, we set ourselves a minimum of ‘Very Good’ for our BREEAM target rating. One year after occupancy, we achieved exactly this. Energy consumption and carbon emissions For this we decided on three clear strategies: minimise, minimise and minimise. For our regulated energy use we knew this meant finding innovative ways to overcome the ventilation and lighting challenges of the bonded warehouse to restrict energy consumption in heating, cooling, lighting and hot water requirements. So, we selected mechanical and electrical system experts XCO2 in our search for the right answers. For our unregulated energy use, in computers and appliances like dishwashers and fridges, and studio lamps, we decided only straight AA rating would pass our test.

Circular principles We agreed we should be tough on ourselves on materials and products. So, everything specified throughout the studio would need cradle-to-grave accreditation. This methodology evaluates the environmental impacts of a product throughout its life cycle, from raw material to disposal. We thought it was important to know where everything was coming from, and what exactly would happen to it when it was done. Just to keep everyone on their toes, we also made a rule that, where possible, materials and products would be sourced locally, and that we would reutilise the majority of our existing furniture from our former studio. Embodied carbon The adaptive reuse of Pennington Street Warehouse played well into our sustainability strategy for the studio but, in addition, we made a commitment to maximise use of timber throughout. One of the most environmentally friendly materials currently available, it acts as a natural carbon sink, is truly renewable and has a biophilic impact on well-being.

Future flexibility Who knows what the future may bring? When JTP started twenty-five years ago, there was no internet. Now, we were considering a practically paper-free office. A clear ambition for the new studio was to futureproof the space and design for flexibility – minimising fixed partitions and furniture. To enable possible changes to power and data supplies in the future, we ensured a raised floor throughout the studio.

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LIVING THE REALITY


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How does our new home feel? That was the theory. Four principles devised to ensure the design of the studio achieved our goal to respect the building, nurture collaboration, look after our well-being and tread lightly on the planet. But this of course is not how places are actually experienced. The reality of architecture is that, to succeed, these concepts need to come together in an economical way that is elegantly structured and brings joy to the lives of those who inhabit it. Commodity, firmness and delight. Even two thousand years after Vitruvius, this definition still rings true. What follows are snapshots of day-to-day life in the studio – the way different spaces are encountered, how they feel, the messages they communicate and how these effects are achieved. But don’t just take our word for it. Come and visit. Spend time with us and see if you agree.

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ARRIVAL Dawn. Warm light floods through the arch into the blue-grey beginnings of day. A rattle, a clatter, a large gate slides open. The echo of footsteps. The day has begun. Entering Pennington Street Warehouse is a piece of theatre. The great arch, opened up after two centuries, feels symbolically welcoming, a wide, appealing invitation to step through. The timber truss roof with a glazed lantern creates a warm, light and beautifully spacious foyer, that also serves as a pedestrian route through from Pennington Street to the Quayside to the south. The floor is made of glass. It’s clear that this is no ordinary place. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. In all our work, we endeavour to make welcoming environments, public spaces that invite people in from all walks of life and then provide good reasons to stay. So, it was important that the entrance to our new studio epitomised this.

To start, a lofty foyer carved into the building, with two grand staircases wrapped around the lift, providing a route from the street down to the vaults or up to the ground-floor level. Then, your first impression of JTP. Transparency. Come in, we’re open to all. A huge glazed wall – our shop window – behind which is an exhibition space where we start our conversation with visitors and passers-by. Through the entrance doors, reception is a welcome point. Concierge not security. The desk is made from recycled newspaper – the first of many nods to the building’s past – pulped and combined with resin to create Richlite – a durable and hard-wearing finish, warm to the touch. The rich black contrasts with the light oak floor. The LED lights embedded in the plinth give the impression the whole desk is floating. And a touch of luxury in the front panel – Vitramesh, a latticed bronze set in glass. But in truth, the visitor’s attention is probably not here, in the carefully crafted architectural details, but rather on the vast panorama across the whole studio.

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THE PROMENADE You’ve been greeted at reception. The space ahead draws you forward, and you’ll quickly move to The Atrium, where the natural inclination is to pause, because there is so much to take in. Heads dart up and down, side to side, smiles form. You have people working all around. Across The Atrium you see the work pinned up in the Project Bay. Then below, down into the cavernous space, is The Hub, plus glimpses of meeting rooms and The Vaults. Everything is connected. Reception is just a short pitstop, not a place to dwell. Instead you’re drawn forwards through the building along The Promenade with its large trees, which are daylit by the huge warehouse openings that once gave onto the quayside. On this floor, workspace neighbourhoods are laid out on two large square areas of carpet. These work hard, absorbing both sound and the wear and tear that would come from the constant movement of chairs. But from time to time, a nostalgic person might want to imagine that these dark pools are the basins of the former London Dock. Suddenly, you’re at The Atrium, where three storeys of drama unfold. Up above, The Mezzanine. Down below, The Vaults.

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THE ATRIUM The Atrium is key, bringing light flooding into the studio. It allows us to see each other, to feel that we’re connected, that we belong to something. It creates a sense of drama. Creating The Atrium was critical to the reimagining of Pennington Street Warehouse. Built to store luxury goods in cool, dark conditions, the historic structure needed to yield to take on its new life as a 21st-century workspace. But driving a void through the brick-vaulted arches to bring daylight to the deepest recesses of the building was more complex than even we had imagined. To create the 14-metre-high atrium, four stone columns and a section of vaulted arches needed to be removed. But such was the ingeniously self-supporting nature of the original design that eliminating these elements risked lateral collapse. Some highly creative structural engineering was in order. An elegant reinforced concrete ring beam was instated to resist forces, with concealed brackets and diagonal ties used to secure the floating arch. The construction phase was remarkable. Maintaining stability of the arches required extensive temporary propping, as well as hundreds of steel pins to hold up the vaults. Today, it’s easy to forget this delicate surgery. The concrete beam is a delight, fitting naturally into the structural language of the building, gently arched in its support.

Within the atrium, pendant lighting is hung from an oak lantern, which in turn is suspended from the steel trusses. The lights sit deep into the atrium, breaking up the planes and accentuating the volume. Here too, the design is influenced by the past. As a bonded warehouse, large weighing scales dangled from the roof to measure incoming goods. Now, this was a place where ideas were to be weighed. The staircases are designed as a family, with different designs according to location and function. Designed to require no intermediate support, they create space beneath them and eliminate visual clutter. The treads are open, maximising penetration of daylight from above. LED lighting at their edges brings a little energy to this change between levels. The stairs are about nurturing collaboration also. How so? By being wide enough to walk them together without breaking your conversation, or to stop and chat comfortably, with plenty of room for others to pass. An oak handrail, tactile and warm in contrast to the cold and utilitarian feel of steelwork, is provided around the atrium at ground floor, and on the mezzanine bridge. The timber handrail is a leaner’s delight, angled away from the atrium to accommodate forearms. It’s a place to pause, a place to chat and to observe. Oak handrails also feature on the staircases. Those who enjoy links to the past will welcome the choice of oak, which references the countless barrels that were rolled in and stored here, and indeed to the ships that brought them to the warehouse.

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THE HUB A slice of carrot cake is lifted off a plate. Coins rattle into a metal box on the kitchen servery – today is baking day, with all proceeds to charity. Behind, the coffee machine hisses into life. A gentle hum floats down from the floors above. A head appears over the mezzanine. Outside on Pennington Street, two passers-by affect the light inside momentarily, as they pass the arched window. At the end of a long table four people are sketching out ideas. A client sits reading a proposal in one of the easy chairs, a shaft of light warming the bricks behind them, marking the approach of lunch like a sundial. A voice calls down from the ground floor. At the base of the triple-height atrium lies The Hub, the social and creative epicentre at the very heart of the studio. A place for gathering, eating, drinking, meeting and presenting. After clients and guests arrive at reception, they are immediately led along The Promenade, down the staircase and made welcome here. The central area of The Hub consists of a highly flexible mix of benches and long tables that can host breakfast, lunch, informal working and presentations. At the margins are sofas and comfortable seating for guests, where they can sit and work, relax with a coffee, and chat informally. A proper home from home.

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On the north elevation is an arched window – opened up for the first time in 200 years. Under the window is the kitchen servery, which on Friday evenings magically transforms into a bar. The worktop is made from Richlite, the same recycled newspaper product encountered at reception. A large projection screen drops down for presentations. At the studio opening party, the furniture was swept aside to create the perfect dancefloor. Even architects dance. Badly. But we dance. Set within two vaulted arches adjacent to The Hub is the Charrette Room – the engine room of the practice. Here experienced staff and young talent hatch and test ideas, in design workshops that might involve clients, landscape architects, structural and civil engineers and property agents, as well as marketing and branding experts. Often this intense collaboration will spill over into The Hub, bringing a sense of energy that is palpable throughout the office. Even smaller events in the Charrette Room generate excitement, as they are easily observed from the Vaults and upper levels of The Atrium through the elegant steel-framed glazed screens, with their fine bronze sections in stark contrast to the massive Portland stone piers. At the push of a lever, the tables in the Charrette Room tilt vertically and can be rolled away and stored. Suddenly, this collaborative workspace becomes the perfect yoga studio, quiet, intimate and focussed.

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THE MEZZANINE The staircase connects a split level which ascends through the void at the centre of the studio, featuring an upper storey that projects over the ground floor. An added level of space and an added level of animation. Throughout the design process, we wanted to express who we are as a practice and be respectful of and sympathetic to the building. We wanted honesty, humbleness, to pare things back. The qualities which make collaboration effective. These are also the traits we find in the building’s materiality. Creating The Mezzanine meant reworking the historic shell. But where The Atrium subtracted fabric, the new floor added. In the adaptive reuse of listed buildings, sensitivity is all about balance. Retaining as much of the original character as possible, while keeping one eye on financial viability.

The design of The Mezzanine is the result of many, many iterations. The final approach preserves a real sense of the original volume of the warehouse, while inserting a new structure with an appropriate look and feel. The resulting industrial aesthetic is born out of I-section steel beams, with surface-fixed bolts and exposed timber joists – which are oversized to provide fire protection. During construction, we discovered all the joists had been printed with codes, so we left those visible. Every detail tells a story. It was the same with the ventilation ducts, left exposed to increase the sense of volume. We also set the distance from the floor to the underside of joists on the ground floor at a generous 2800mm, which just felt right for the scale of the space. Over by Reception, the western staircase to The Mezzanine is elegantly hung from the roof truss, also without intermediate support, and provides our tenants with a private access to their workspace.

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CONVERSATIONS A group of five huddle round a table, talking in low tones. One gets up and grabs a drawing from the wall. A client leans forward to touch and point to the monitor. The image on the screen changes. In the adjacent bay, ideas are being organised on a wall with magnets. Behind this, two people sit side by side at a laptop, one on a stool. A third stands behind them. In the corner an enormous drawing is rolled over a large table, a selection of pens sit abandoned on it, and the seat, for the moment, lies vacant. Tucked into an alcove on the north wall, two people chat, inaudibly. Our ambition was for project-based working and greater collaboration within and between design teams. Or to put it more simply – nurturing more conversations. This meant moving away from rigid structures and fixed desks towards more flexible workstyles in different kinds of task-related spaces. A series of zones were formulated, with a variety of formal and informal workspaces, neighbourhoods around which projects coalesce – with touch screens, extensive pin-up space and large drawing benches. Three of these bays are provided on the ground floor, one on The Mezzanine with model-making benches, and a fifth, more flexible zone in the Vaults, served by moveable display boards.

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We spent a huge amount of time choosing new desks. Asking staff to give up on a fixed space and embrace hot-desking meant we needed to get the product right. Family contacts led us finally to Opendesk. Made from FSC-certified birch ply, these were beautifully sculpted workbenches, soft to the touch and environmentally friendly. Opendesk is a unique concept. While most office furniture is mass manufactured in one place and then shipped worldwide, the company has established a local network of local craftsmen to create and install its designs – in our case Wilder Creative in Walthamstow, just four miles away. We loved the idea that you could both support local business and reduce carbon emissions in one fell swoop. Alongside the varied workspaces set within project neighbourhoods, we created a range of meeting spaces with distinct characters, designed to facilitate different kinds of collaboration – by varying size, technology and atmosphere. Named after former uses of the warehouse, The Rum Room and The Spice Room are located in the Vaults, and The Newsroom and The Print Works are on the ground floor.

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The Rum Room Two vaulted arches wide and one bay deep, the Rum Room is enclosed by glazed screens set between the stone pillars, with a visual connection to The Hub. A five-metre long boardroom table and fixed furniture in black toasted oak create a serene environment with an executive feel. LED uplighters illuminate and emphasise the beauty of the brickwork arches. Services are concealed within the fixed furniture. The Spice Room Perfectly square, and set partially below street level facing onto Pennington Street and the entrance, it’s perfect for people-watching. The room is all about the pattern, texture and colour of the vaulted brickwork arches. The detail changes through the arch from a stepped brickwork section to a perfect arch. Brick specials define the line of the arch. Chilli-and cumin-coloured upholstery to the chairs are a reminder of the spices once stored in these vaults. There is a great tranquillity to both of these meeting spaces in the Vaults. The subdued lighting, historic brick and gently curved ceilings all play a part, but also perfect acoustics make conversation easy. It’s as though the spaces themselves encourage consensus and defy heated debate. The Newsroom All of our reference books, catalogues of design and access statements, design guides and practice publications are gathered and placed around the walls of this library-like haven on the ground floor. A quiet space for meeting and reading, it also serves as our Prayer Space.

The Print Works We deliberately brought together all our printing, plotting and binding facilities in a single location, to create an informal meeting point. It doesn’t have the glamour of catching up by the coffee machine in The Hub, but many important decisions have been made whilst waiting in gleeful anticipation for documents to arrive through the printer. The Nook A more intimate meeting setting, tucked out of sight in the north-west corner of the ground floor, The Nook is protected and private. It is perfectly soundproof for those more sensitive discussions. Alcoves & Arches Already a perennial favourite, these informal workspaces emerged out of conversations with staff. Five ground-floor arches on the north elevation provide intimacy and privacy from the open studio. Seating and tables are constructed in birch ply with coloured upholstery. And on the south elevation, the height of the existing windowsills, and the depth of the reveals makes for perfect seats. Befitting a warehouse that once stored spices, the cushions are coloured in paprika. Tucked off The Promenade and with excellent sound insulation, they make a great place to sit and concentrate, with the sun pouring in.

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DARK HUMOUR Sometimes it’s good to confound expectations; it makes people smile. Generally, the restrooms in offices are neglected, perfunctory, unloved – something there only because they have to be there. Unflattering lighting, cheap, clattery. We wanted our people and our guests to feel a million dollars when they spend a penny. So, we invested many pounds. In contrast to the light and openness of the studio, our restrooms were conceived as dark and stylish, with a spa-like luxury. The darkness is created through the use of black toasted oak doors and screens. Vanity units are sculptural and cantilevered from the wall, the smoothness of the Silestone finish contrasting with the irregularity of the brickwork. The brass taps are solid and textured, a timeless design reflecting the character of both the building and the practice. The floor is finished with Ketley quarry tiles. In keeping with other elements of the building, the tiles are utilitarian, industrial and hard wearing, yet still perform their luxury role in this context. Like the brickwork, they have imperfections and a delicate inconsistency. The colour brings warmth to the space.

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A long debate resulted in the decision to make the restrooms unisex. Men gallantly ceded access to all of their cubicles, while ladies retain three for their exclusive use. Inside the cubicles, LED lights illuminate the brickwork arch from below, giving them a cocoon-like feel. In a separate area, we worked hard to make space for three large shower rooms, with associated lockers and also a room for drying wet clothes. Part of our strategy for a healthy and sustainable studio, this was all about making it easy for our staff to cycle or run to the studio. Combining exercise with a carbonfree footprint – what’s not to like? Secure cycle storage has also been provided down in the Vaults, right alongside the workspaces. We also brought some playful fun to the signage and wayfinding. This was designed by our in-house graphics team and was inspired by the distinctive painted numbers on the warehouses of Wapping. We used master signwriter Nick Garrett, who has, over the last twenty years, established himself as one of the greatest exponents in the country, publishing several books on the styles and techniques of this art form. Beyond his incredible skill, we loved that he’s a local, and also that he specialises in sustainable, safe and natural materials. Our signs were painted using egg whites.

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HIDDEN GEMS Decisions made, things discovered, and features recovered. Here are four hidden gems around the studio to look out for. Numbered staircase In the vaults we found some old oak planks, each marked with Roman numerals, but with no explanation of what they referred to. We loved this quirky link to a past life and used them to construct the staircase linking the quayside to the ground floor. Take a close look and you’ll find the numerals perfectly preserved. Hidden void We left a little void in the mezzanine floorplate tucked away over in the north-east corner of the studio. It brings natural daylight into what would otherwise be a dark corner, and those close by use it for little conversations between floors.

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Unsolved mysteries There is something fascinating about the patina of historic buildings. The slow wear and tear of everyday life over decades or centuries that inflicts scars and marks that give a place character and a sense of authenticity. If you look carefully, Pennington Street Warehouse guards its own secrets, offering tantalising clues of a past life that defies explanation. We found traces of a window opening on an external wall, but no sign of it ever existing on the inside. We discovered a strange alteration to the brick patterning ... but why? And down in the vaults, a change in the curvature of the wall, and an unexplained hollow that left us scratching our heads. We love these unsolved mysteries, which add to the day-to-day pleasure of inhabiting this enigmatic place. Seconds out The bricks on the eastern wall of the Print Works are all different colours. These are obviously ‘seconds’ bricks of slightly inferior quality originating from various clays across different parts of London. They were never meant to be seen, but we’re delighted to put them on show.

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THE TECHNICAL STUFF There are many people out there facing exactly the same challenges we’ve faced when it comes to sustainability, so sharing some lessons seems in order.

The greatest challenge for the creative reuse of Pennington Street Warehouse was the provision of natural daylight and ventilation. Exactly how can a 315-metre-long listed building, designed for storage and with very limited openings, accommodate an extraordinary workspace? Natural daylight We’ve explained how the vaults were transformed by the painstaking removal of four stone columns and a section of vaulted arches, to create a 14-metre-high atrium. Topped by a new glazed rooflight, this brought natural daylight flooding into all three levels of the studio. At the entrance, daylighting was achieved by creating a single volume under a timber truss roof which is lit by the glazed lantern above. Elsewhere, arches set in the external walls have been opened up for the first time in 200 years to create new entrances and windows. Clearly, bringing natural light into the interior both reduces electricity required for lighting and provides solar gains to reduce heating. The majority of studio spaces meet the criteria for limiting solar gains, but where mitigation was required, we’ve incorporated sensitively designed fabric blinds and sails into the design.

Heating and ventilation Our strategy, which seeks to minimise energy consumption and carbon emissions, is built around the characteristics of the existing warehouse – high thermal mass, limited openings in the façades, and an extensive area of rooflights. Internal brickwork walls have been left unfinished to expose their thermal mass and help reduce fluctuations in internal temperatures. Heating and cooling solution is provided through a variable refrigerant volume system (VRV). This incorporates heat recovery, which manages the different spatial and environmental characteristics of the studio, in some cases providing cooling to one space and heating another simultaneously. This enables heat that would be otherwise wasted to be recovered and recycled. Cooling of the server room also presented opportunities to be sustainable. Rather than discharging excess heat to the outside as is normal practice, heat generated by the computer servers is utilised to provide 20% of the heating requirements for the studio, further reducing running costs and carbon emissions.

Dealing with the different spatial and environmental characteristics of Pennington Street Warehouse also required a bespoke design response for each floor. In the Vaults, the beautiful brickwork arches needed a design solution that provided ventilation but minimised visual intrusion. So, ducts have been carefully concealed within the floor void and also hidden in fixed furniture on the north elevation. On the ground floor, we wanted to retain a sense of volume, so we limited exposed ceiling ducts to the north and east walls. Then, floor-mounted VRV units on the south were designed to be concealed within the fixed furniture. Up in The Mezzanine, we avoided cluttering The Atrium and kept ducts within the roof void on either side. Here a ‘Gripple Systeme’ of brackets and clamps suspends all the services, including the electrical supply, lighting and ductwork, between the steel roof trusses and brickwork walls. Elegant, understated and honest.

Energy consumption Here are some facts and figures for those who like that kind of thing. Our regulated energy use, calculated on the technical specification of the installed equipment and lighting, is 24.9 kg of CO2/m2 per year. Unregulated energy use, based on the energy consumption identified within the BRUKL prepared for the project, is 17.66 kg of CO2/m2 per year. This equates to total CO2 emissions of 42.56 kg of CO2/m2 per year. But what does that actually mean? Basically, we’ve achieved a significantly lower level of energy use and CO2 emissions than your average office building – in a 200-year-old listed structure. We did this by capitalising on a lower window-to-wall ratio and high thermal mass building envelope, then adding a high-performance mechanical plant and very energy-efficient lighting. Bingo!

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Cradle to grave All specified materials and products throughout the studio have cradle-to-grave Environmental Product accreditation, to ensure we took account of whole life-cycle impacts. Flooring throughout is either timber or Milliken carpet tiles, which are made of recycled, ethically sourced and locally produced materials. The cushion backing is 90% recycled polyurethane. To ensure ongoing flexibility we specified TractionBack adhesivefree backing for the installation of the carpet tiles. This natural, non-adhesive wax backing allows tiles to be easily removed, repaired or re-used elsewhere. Cradle-to-grave materials which we specified include Milliken Quadrus Entrance Matting, British Gypsum Gyproc SoundBloc Insulation and British Gypsum Moisture Resistant Insulation. Our reception desk and kitchen servery are made from Richlite, a solid paper composite sheet formed from 65% recycled paper and 35% resin. Although this doesn’t have accreditation, the resin minimises energy consumption and it is manufactured through a waste-to-energy technology. We thought this was a reasonable compromise. Oh, and before we forget, the steel roof trusses installed on the building in the 1980s were adapted and reused to allow installation of the mezzanine floor.

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VOC free This was the hard one. For three years we scrutinised every single material – adhesives, paints, timber, fabrics, finishes, furniture and even cleaning products – to purge the studio of unhealthy volatile organic compounds. Our post-occupancy assessment found concentrations of formaldehyde below the limit of detection. We’ve been told that achieving this is no mean feat and hope it inspires others in their pursuit of healthy buildings.

Recycling We’ve spent many years changing behaviours to reduce waste. One of the best ways to achieve this is not to create it in the first place. At Pennington Street Warehouse, we’re working towards a paper-free studio with significantly less storage and a clear desk policy, which staff have quickly embraced. What waste we do create, including food scraps, gets recycled, and we have no landfill bins. Yes, you read that right. Not a single one.

Changing behaviours Sustainability has also meant new initiatives to change our behaviours – every member of staff is provided with reusable water bottles to encourage hydration and eco-friendly coffee cups and hessian lunch bags to reduce waste. Plastic bags are banned from the studio. We also provide daily fruit and healthy snacks, and locally sourced lunches every Monday, and have introduced a free daily breakfast for all.

Embodied carbon We’ve maximised the use of timber because it is a renewable, recyclable resource and a great carbon store. The mezzanine floor is made of timber joists with plywood soffits set within a steel structure. Both the mezzanine and staircases were constructed and supplied by Rayward, a manufacturer in Cranleigh, less than 40 miles away.

A quick comparison between our former studio in March 2018 and our new studio in March 2019 showed overall recycling rates had increased from 85% to 93%. Specifically, our paper usage has reduced by 76% from 1,655kg to 398kg, so we’ve already saved the equivalent of 12 trees. Food waste for anaerobic digestion has also increased by 200% from 47 kg to 99kg.

Water We set out a baseline for water consumption, then devised a strategy that has delivered a 35% improvement on it. How so? Hot water is provided by an energy-efficient site-wide district heating system, and instant hot water taps have been installed to reduce energy consumption from kettle usage.

Biophilia Plants have been placed throughout the studio where they can be seen from workspaces to enhance well-being, lift the spirits, increase productivity and bring calm to the space. It’s a very large volume, so trees and shrubs were selected for their robust forms, with large, simple leaf shapes and varied canopies. The lush green is beautifully heightened by the deep red of the brick walls.

Post-occupation evaluation The issue with sustainability is that there is often a gap between the theory and the reality. So we’re committed to an ongoing postoccupation evaluation of the studio. This includes a thorough review of data to monitor daily, weekly and seasonal trends for use of resources, to quickly understand any deviations from our set ambition and to allow for continual improvement. We’ll also be seeking feedback on the studio environment through surveys of our staff and tenants; and assessments of working efficiency, occupancy levels, staff attendance, sick leave and staff turnover to understand the role of the new studio in these areas. In other words, we remain a work in progress.

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THOUGHTS ON A ROAD WELL TRAVELLED


REFLECTIONS

What have we achieved? Hindsight is a wonderful thing. As you end a learning journey and look back at all the twists and turns, avenues of investigation and cul-de-sacs, the simple path to the solution begins to reveal itself. Why did it take so long to reach those realisations and approaches, which now seem so obvious? Because that is the elusive nature of innovation! However long our odyssey took, we believe we were right to remain faithful to our process of Collaborative Placemaking.

NEIGHBOURHOOD

We firmly believe that, with a bigger footprint and more bodies, we have a greater opportunity to influence what our new local neighbourhood becomes as it blossoms back into life. We’re part of a pioneering community, cheerleaders for a fascinating but overlooked area of the city. We’ve looked and listened hard to what’s around us, and responded with something creative and inclusive, different from what was here before, but deeply connected to the spirit of the place. In Clerkenwell, we may have spent time and money on our studio, but we’ve dropped anchor in London Dock – put down roots and invested our heart and soul in making it a better place than we found it. Today, we buy locally, eat locally, draw interesting people here from across the city, but wish for nothing more than to become a part of the furniture.

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STUDIO

For the record, we have little experience of designing offices. Sure, we have talented architects and placemakers, but over the past decade, workplace design has become a highly specialised field of endeavour. Since opening our doors, we’ve hosted tours for the great and the good of the office world – the best workplace developers, owners of feted co-working spaces, and all manner of other individuals and organisations we greatly admire for the quality and thoughtfulness of their product. What do they see? An idiosyncratic building artfully brought to life, with a sense of camaraderie, friendliness and intimacy, where you feel encouraged to debate, discuss and linger. A studio that nurtures interaction, facilitates collaboration and inspires creativity. An extraordinary human-centric place, with a clear commitment to well-being. These are not our words; they are the recurring thoughts of visitors, experts in the built environment – people we trust to tell us how it is. What’s fascinating is that they constantly describe not what they see, but what it encourages them to do, and how it makes them feel. Sure, they pass comments on materials, colours and architectural details, but what they truly enthuse about is the overall atmosphere of the office. Reflecting on this, we think it is a consequence of staying true to our own approach. The studio is not just a workplace built for us, by us – but rather a physical embodiment of who we are and what we believe in.

REFLECTIONS

CULTURE

Since changing places and bringing life to our new studio, there’s been a subtle shift in the culture of the office, the ways people go about things, how they relate to each other, and the quality of work they produce. This is not a chance outcome. It’s the happy result of a careful process of change management – that began before a single line was drawn and still continues after we’ve moved in. Hours of careful listening, dialogue around emerging ideas, and wholesale changes to design, alongside artful persuasion and gentle cajoling, embracing the enthusiasts, reassuring the nervous, and convincing the naysayers. For some, the idea of a nomadic existence without a fixed desk, getting rid of the comforting stuff surrounding them that served no purpose, or even communal eating at lunchtime, were unsettling ideas. But the results are in and all of these things, and more besides, have been embraced and have transformed life at JTP. Where people once called each other, they now walk over and meet face-to-face. Teams see what each other is doing, listen in, and make contributions. We’ve moved from an office where work gets done to an inspiring place where new ideas happen and then spread like wildfire.

Beyond working processes, change management has been trained on sustainability and wellbeing, which sit at the heart of our ethos. From every direction people are being gently nudged towards behaviours that dramatically reduce energy and waste and nurture physical and mental health. Careful thought has been put into the food we’re eating, the water we’re drinking, the materials we’re touching, light, air quality and biophilia. Beyond this, it’s making time and space for yoga, running, cycling and, for some, a call to faith. We hear talk of the liberating effect of getting rid of stuff, of serenity, being uplifted, and people having renewed enthusiasm for what they do. Of all the things we’ve heard, a ‘sense of pride’ in the new studio is probably the most gratifying. When over 300 people are brought along to your ‘Friends and Family’ day, you know something is afoot. Husbands, wives and partners, children of every age, mums and dads, grandparents and friends were all hauled away from their normal Saturday routine to be toured around not just a new studio space, but rather something our employees felt represented who they are and what they stand for in life.

Our collective spirit – a sense of family – has had a new lease of life. People are choosing to eat together at breakfast and lunch, socialise after hours in The Hub, and share their personal lives throughout the day and after hours. Encouraging our creative tenants to participate makes this bigger than JTP – the seed of a new community we hope will flourish as more of the warehouse and surrounding neighbourhood is brought to life. Nurturing this cultural change is not just the right thing to do; it makes for good business. This is because in today’s world the ‘battle for talent’ in knowledge and creative industries grows ever more challenging, as the dynamic young people we seek are increasingly looking for meaningful work and drawn to environments in which they can pursue their passions while learning and thriving. But don’t take our word for it. We always say the best judgement of the success in placemaking lies not with us, our professional peers, or the architectural media – but rather with the people who visit, live or work there on a habitual basis. So, let’s leave the final say to them – and listen to their reflections on JTP Changing Places.

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ALEC BORRILL Associate Joined JTP in 2017 In many ways Pennington Street Warehouse is a subtle and quiet conversation. The details of the building express something unspoken – something just waiting to communicate with you. The original craftsmanship is allowed to speak for itself. There are cracks, there are imperfections, it’s rough at times, but it’s part of the story. The variety of bricks used in the walls alone are a dialogue on London’s history.

STEPHANOS SPIRAKIS Senior Architect Joined JTP in 2014 I don’t refer to Pennington Street Warehouse as ‘the office’ because it is so much more. There were certain aspects of the old building that were really good: it was bright, airy and centrally located, but it had started to feel like an ‘office’. The refurbishment of our new studio has been completed with such integrity that I have, momentarily, caught myself forgetting that this is actually where I work. The building in itself is beautiful. But in this restoration the team has managed to reveal its scars, its history, its original beauty and celebrate them, giving us a home that no one else has – and that’s an achievement, it really is.

I find great joy in many of the building’s subtleties. Whenever I open the door to the lavatories it makes me smile because they feel as though you’re entering a luxurious spa or an exclusive nightclub. It gets me every time. There’s a certain curiosity about the space. Visitors come in and naturally meander around – something the building invites you to do. So, in every sense, it is not an office, but a place where we gather to do what we love.

It imperceptibly communicates something that I cannot put into words. Something intangible. Something of how we run our practice. It’s an acknowledgment of our values. This, coupled with the work we do, is rooted in leaving a legacy for the future while showing a respect and appreciation for the past.

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HAS IT WORKED?

GAVIN MCGILLIVRAY Associate Joined JTP in 2015 JTP’s new studio is a reflection of collective success. It encapsulates the ethos of the practice in a physical form. The level of thought and care that has gone into making this place bespoke to us is extraordinary. All the analysis around our ways and habits of working, that’s all been synthesised into

a physical design and a lot of love went into that process. And look at what’s been achieved! It’s such a serene environment. From the acoustics to the lighting, the circulation space to the details which peek out of the most unassuming places – it’s really bang on!

REBECCA FROST Associate Joined JTP in 2013 We always talk about this idea of breathing life into old places and we’ve actually done it with Pennington Street Warehouse. The structure itself has a calmness to it; the space, the materiality, the location. It also has something to do with this new transparency and openness; you can see everything that’s going on. And not only has that really encouraged collaboration

and sociability, but it also adds a layer of animation to the space. People are engaging with the building and each other in a really positive way. The studio feels more like home and we feel much more of a family within it.

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ELVINA CRASTO DE SILVA Associate Joined JTP in 2010 PSW isn’t a building; it’s an identity. And it’s given us a new confidence. A confidence to embrace the new and welcome change. I think this confidence has led us to work in a considerably different way than we did before. We’re more agile; no longer tethered to a desk. A fixed desk means that there is a tendency to pin up personal photos, cards, etc (which I did in the previous office). With flexible working there is no hanging onto memories. Instead you’re interacting with new people, in the present. I like that.

LEIGH YEATS Community Planner Joined JTP in 2015 I remember my first time in the building vividly. It was amazing. There was a scent of familiarity, the sun had just gone down, so it was dark outside, but the lighting in the space made you feel like you were at home. The openness, the brick, wood and metal, the mezzanine, I was just blown away. And every time I enter the studio, I get that same feeling. It’s really changed the way I behave and interact with my peers. I find myself walking around more, rather than picking up the phone or emailing people. It perpetuates better human interactions, and that can only be a good thing.

The visibility and transparency in the new studio has been really defining. It’s vitally important to see what other people are doing; it cross-seeds ideas. More and more I find myself engaging in conversations which lead to an idea that hadn’t been thought of and that feed into my own projects. That didn’t happen so easily before.

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REFLECTIONS

LIZ LIDDELL-GRAINGER Associate Joined JTP in 2015 It’s given everyone a renewed enthusiasm. The new studio feels more naturally collaborative and having the flexibility to move around is great.

There are so many types of spaces – for focussing, collaborating, socialising and learning – it’s very refreshing.

ALEXANDER MACAULEY Senior Architect Joined JTP in 2018 I was looking at the JTP sign over the reception desk painted onto the brickwork, and I thought, ‘that’s a bit odd’. Normally an architect would seek out clean lines and crisp simplicity. Later, I was looking at the original signs along Pennington Street and noticed how they are always painted onto the brickwork over the arches. So, what seems like a mistake is actually a very deliberate decision, one that respectfully pays homage to the building’s heritage. It’s been painted with egg whites, which would have been the traditional way to paint

signage when the building was constructed. Yes, you could equally just bang up a sign and it would have the same function, but what’s been done is something quite special. And just like every other detail in the building, it is humble and honest. It doesn’t compete for attention.

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REFLECTIONS

ANTHONY (TONY) PIDGLEY CBE Founder and Chairman Berkeley Group Holdings As we were finalising this book, we were met with very sad news of the untimely passing of Tony Pidgley, a long-standing client and good friend who shared our passion for placemaking. We are pleased that we had the opportunity to show Tony around our studio and will always remember his visit and candour with fondness. Firstly, let me thank you, and indeed your whole team, for the courtesy extended to us yesterday during our visit to your new home. It really was a quite a wonderful experience and I was very impressed not only with the work environment but the general camaraderie that you pick up (or not sometimes!) when you visit any office. I was very impressed with your flexible working, but what impressed me even more was

Marcus Adams presents Creating Great Places, a celebration of John Thompson's (JTP Founder Chairman) career to Tony Pidgley

the VOC-free environment. No VOC is quite an achievement. Congratulations to you and your whole team. I have never had any doubt about your passion and commitment to placemaking. It’s very inspirational and I can see that it’s rubbed off on your whole team. They are very courteous, wanted to engage, and understood the subject matter. It always impresses me when people are committed to what they are doing. All that remains is for me to congratulate you and your whole team. It was quite wonderful to see everybody working in such a fantastic environment and yet have such a good work ethic and atmosphere at the same time.

Marcus Blake, Managing Director of St George City, Marcus Adams, Janet Lewis, Mr Tony Pidgley CBE, Founder and Chairman of the Berkeley Group, and Piers Clanford, Managing Director of St George plc

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REFLECTIONS

CRAIG CARSON

DAVID MOONEY

RICHARD COPPELL

ROB TINCKNELL

Land & Planning Director, Joseph Homes Former Managing Director of St George City Ltd & London Dock

Director of Development, London Wildlife Trust

Group Development Director, Urban&Civic plc

Partner, ARELI Real Estate Ltd Former CEO, Battersea Power Station Company

I always knew this was going to be special. The way the historic fabric has been incorporated is excellent, a simple approach to creating a space that has outstanding presence and a charmingly intimate quality. The selection of materials has been excellent – from the exposed beams to the recycled newspaper worktops. We, as an industry, need to give greater consideration to the materials being used in buildings and you have certainly started to raise the awareness on what can be done. Pennington Street Warehouse has evolved over its 200-year history and I feel that JTP has captured the best of this in creating the next chapter.

This is an entirely different world from the old studio. I felt like I could have stayed all day. It was like visiting the most stylish, well-planned public library. A public library that has married a high-end New York restaurant and given birth to a design studio in Wapping. I feel like moving my entire ecology consultancy in and leaving them here to create green towns and cities of the future.

Clients and visitors are met by a welcoming entrance befitting of the JTP brand: straight into the shop floor. Rather than hidden away on a multitude of floors and concealed offices, sightlines through the layered space give us an immediate experience of JTP.

JTP’s fantastic new studio clearly demonstrates the creativity, determination and commitment of this great practice. From cosy two-person alcoves to large vaulted meeting rooms, the open-plan space is naturally relaxing, allowing the team to focus, merge and create. The huge commitment made by the team to provide such an amazing environment clearly shows JTP’s focus on people-centred design; an attitude which permeates into the architectural solutions they create.

There is an overriding sense of cosiness at the new studio without ever losing the sense that this is a place of creativity and work. The clichéd architectural approach of clinical white walls has now been eschewed in favour of the warm textual tones of the historic brickwork and brown steel-framed internal doors and windows, which have artfully been brought to life through canny lighting. installations.

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CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Who made it possible? From start to finish, the new studio has been a vast collaborative undertaking. Truly a case of practising what we preach. Huge credit is due to all the design, technical and construction teams involved, with special thanks to the exceptional individuals overleaf, who orchestrated success. Because every great project requires champions. DESIGN TEAM ARCHITECTS JTP

HERITAGE CONSULTANT Nicola de Quincey

GLAZED SCREENS Fabco Sanctuary

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Alan Baxter Associates

BREEAM CONSULTANT Norman Disney & Young

M&E DESIGNER XCO2

PRINCIPAL DESIGNERS Gardiner & Theobald

INDOOR BOTANICAL DESIGNER Roco

COST CONSULTANT BWA

PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR Construction + Management Ltd (Stewart Black, Phil Pollard, who came out of retirement for this, and Christian Purcell)

FIRE ENGINEER H&H DRAINAGE ENGINEER DSA APPROVED INSPECTORS MLM ACOUSTIC CONSULTANTS Sharps Redmore SPACE PLANNING Spacelab

MECHANICAL CONTRACTOR JPS (Wayne Peck & Steve Burl) ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR VBS (Michael Quartermain & Steven Harding) STEEELWORK CONTRACTOR Rayward Installations (James Rayward)

SECURITY CONSULTANT WLS AUDIO VISUAL Carillion Communications SIGNWRITER Nick Garrett FURNITURE Opendesk SHELL & CORE CLIENT St George City Ltd ARCHITECT Richard Griffiths Architects STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Alan Baxter Associates

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Project Architect

The Client

JANET LEWIS

JOE WORRALL

JTP HR & Operations Partner

JTP Senior Architect

Janet was responsible for working out first how we bought the building, and then how it should be owned, dealing with the pension fund and taking responsibility for drafting the Members’ Agreement. She was the mastermind behind the staff engagement process, seeking feedback and refinement at every stage, and preparing the JTP team not just for the move but also for the operational change that came with our new workspace. The detailed and expansive brief she created covered everything from room names to IT provision, and project zones to details of the reception desk.

While not an architect by training, Janet has an excellent eye, and was relentless in pursuit of what was the right solution, as opposed to what might appear the most obvious or easiest. Totally absorbed, and committed to the studio being the best it could possibly be, she spent her weekends researching lights, taps, toilet roll holders and easy chairs. The studio would have been very different without her involvement and contribution.

Joe had the best, and at the same time probably the trickiest, architectural project in the practice. He worked incredibly hard and learnt a lot, gaining some new grey hairs in the process. He can take credit for the simple yet robust detailing and controlled palette of materials and finishes, designed to be timeless and durable in use. As well as being responsible for all the construction and technical details, he oversaw coordination with structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, health and safety issues, and fire safety.

Most importantly, he oversaw construction of the works on site, translating the design into built reality and collaborating closely with the contractor to resolve those tricky site issues that inevitably arise when bringing heritage buildings back to life. Youngsters are often told in the practice that to be a successful architect you need to be an opportunist. Joe certainly grabbed his opportunity with both hands, and then applied skill, hard work and much determination. The two years he spent on this project will undoubtedly have been a very worthwhile investment for his future career.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Principal Contractor

THANKS ALSO DUE TO:

IMAGE CREDITS & COPYRIGHT

Director, Construction + Management Limited

Scott Perry, Eric Holding and Leeann De Barros, the authors of this book, and to Adam Bowie for the book design.

Page 32: London Dock, 1806 © Museum of London

STEWART BLACK

JTP recognised the importance of having construction expertise within the team at an early stage. Stewart Black, Director at Construction + Management Limited, had been the contractor for the refurbishment of our previous studio at Great Sutton Street back in 2008, and so we called on him again to help shape the detailed design of the project into one that could be delivered efficiently, to programme and to budget. Stewart spent two years working closely with the project team and was invaluable in establishing how best to build-out the studio and develop the details to deliver the vision in the most cost-effective way.

This role in the early design stages also ensured the JTP vision was carried through to the construction team on site. It was a privilege to watch Stewart effortlessly manage the multiple contractors required for a build of this complexity, to achieve an ambitious (and occasionally unbelievably challenging) project programme. His hard work, focussed approach and sheer determination kept the project on course and it is to his credit that practical completion was achieved on time and to the quality we expected. Stewart should take as much pride in the studio as we do, and our utmost gratitude goes to him.

Liz Liddell-Grainger, who took responsibility for managing the environmental and sustainability issues, ensuring we achieved BREEAM ‘Very Good’ and that we were VOC-free. She achieved exactly that! Eve Denney, who helped find the furniture, commissioned the greenery and organised the huge task of the studio move from Great Sutton Street to Pennington Street Warehouse; a massive undertaking that went like clockwork. Nick Cottle, who had huge responsibility for IT and communications. And amazingly we were up and running in our new studio in less than three days. Adam Bowie & Leo Allen Cripps, who designed the studio signage and graphics, and commissioned the signwriter. Emma Blackledge, who told everyone about the move – managing press releases, news items on the website and tweets on social media. Colin Smith, who made sure we had the money in the bank to buy the building, fund the works and pay the invoices to the contractor. Kevin Lin, who checked the invoices and made sure our contractor was paid on time. Emmet O’Sullivan, who oversaw the Design & Access Statements for the Listed Building and Planning applications. Bill Sands & Vincente Florido, who created the computer-generated images and panoramic photography. Jeremy Yen, who produced the beautiful floor plan artwork for this publication.

Page 36: London Dock, 1963 © Museum of London Page 38: The last barrel, 1968 © Museum of London Page 40: Wapping wasteland 1971 © Paul Webster londonsdocks.com Page 42: Pennington Street (1975) (Television series, DVD) in The Sweeney: Poppy (S2, Ep. 8) © Euston Films Ltd & Thames Television Page 42: St Katharine Docks (1980) (Film still, DVD) in The Long Good Friday © Black Lion Films, HandMade Films & Calendar Productions Page 42: Pennington Street (1983) (Television series, DVD) in The Bill: Burning the Books (S1, Ep. 9) © Thames Television Page 42: Spirit Quay (1999) (Film still, DVD) in The World is Not Enough © Eon Productions & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Page 43: Alec Baldwin as Alan Hunley in Pennington Street Vaults (2018) (Film still, Blu-ray) in Mission Impossible: Fallout © Skydance Media, Bad Robot Productions, TC Productions & Alibaba Pictures Page 43: Tom Holland as Spider-Man and Jake Gyllenhall as Mysterios in Pennington Street Vaults (2019) (Film still, Blu-ray) in Spider-Man: Far from Home © Columbia Pictures, Marvel Studios & Pascal Pictures Page 43: Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs & Venessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw in Pennington Street Vaults (2018) (Film still, Blu-ray) in Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw © Seven Bucks Productions & Chris Morgan Productions Page 44: Wapping wasteland 1971 © Paul Webster londonsdocks.com Page 46: The printers' dispute of 1986, Fortress Wapping © Nic Oatridge Page 48: The printers' dispute of 1986, Fortress Wapping © Nic Oatridge All studio and architectural photography © Craig Auckland/Fotohaus & JTP respectively Illustrations by David ‘Harry The Pencil’ Harrison

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