TOG opens Central London’s tallest mass timber office building

TOG, the premium flexible workspace provider and part of The Office Group parent company, has announced the opening of its first project built from the ground up – The Black & White Building, located in Shoreditch.

Demonstrating The Office Group’s dedication and commitment to sustainability, The Black & White Building is Central London’s tallest mass timber office, standing at 17.8 metres high and covering 38,315 sq ft. The workspace has been built using renewable materials and highly innovative construction methods, resulting in embodied carbon creation being reduced by 37% compared with a concrete structure of the same size.

The site was acquired by TOG In 2013 and was previously home to an 11,000 sq ft building that TOG had originally painted black and white, giving the current building its name. Working collaboratively with Waugh Thistleton Architects, the space was expanded and rebuilt , incorporating innovative materials of cross-laminated timber and laminated veneer lumber – both high-performance wooden materials that are rapidly renewable, highly durable, easily recyclable and less waste-generating than more common building materials such as iron, steel and cement.

The building not only provides optimised workspace but incorporates a range of amenities that prioritises the wellbeing of teams and individuals and is well suited for sustainability- minded businesses.

Alongside the 506 desks, 28 offices of varying size, six meeting rooms, two lounge areas, focus booths and break-out spaces, The Black & White Building includes showers and 94 bike storage spaces, driving environmentally-friendly commuting. The roof-terrace and ground- floor lounge encourages members to collaborate and socialise while also acting as versatile event spaces. A first in TOG’s portfolio, users will also benefit from access to a dedicated yoga and barre studio for wellness activities which are focused on holistic health.

East London-based Daytrip Studio were appointed to design the interiors of The Black & White Building with the brief of driving social connectivity, championing environmentally conscious materials and supporting the workspace’s sustainable principles by working with mostly UK makers and manufacturers.

The Black & White Building delivers both form and function while acting as an industry benchmark for sustainable commercial construction – the workspace is targeting a BREEAM “Excellent” rating and LETI “B” rating.

Enrico Sanna, CEO of The Office Group, commented: “The Black & White Building is a particularly significant achievement for us – not only is it the tallest mass timber office building in Central London and our most sustainable building to date, it’s also the first project we have chosen to build from scratch.

“Partnering with Waugh Thistleton Architects has brought our aligned sustainability vision to life by developing a building that offers long-term, innovative and sustainable solutions that we see as the blueprint for our future workspaces and hope it encourages others to rethink their construction methods.

“As businesses of all sizes are increasingly considering their impact on the planet, we have an important role to play in leading by example and helping to transform the urban fabric of the city, as well as helping our members to deliver their own sustainability credentials. As a building that caters to the needs of businesses of all sizes, we are very much looking forward to welcoming members to this boundary-pushing space that they can be proud of.”

Charlie Green, President of The Office Group, commented: “Rebuilding The Black & White Building has been our opportunity to show our very real commitment to driving positive change in the industry. It’s about building as responsibly as possible, taking risks and learning as much as we can along the way. It’s innovative, but we very much hope that this building encourages others to develop commercial buildings with the environment at the core of their approach to construction.

“We’ve used timber in everything above ground – timber columns, beams, walls and floor slabs, the curtain walling and the solar louvres. It’s beautiful to look at and to touch. And even the smell is incredible. We’ve significantly reduced our embodied carbon which in turn helps to reduce our ongoing operational carbon. And we’ve extended this ethos to the interior design, focusing on recycled materials and 88% of the furniture being sourced in the UK. What is wonderful, is that the clients moving into the building are driving their own sustainability agenda to the top of their decision-making criteria, and The Black and White Building is ticking that box for them.”

The Black & White Building is the fourteenth of The Office Group’s buildings in the City and Shoreditch area, sitting directly opposite TOG’s 81 Rivington Street and a five-minute walk away from Albert House and White Collar Factory. Fora’s Great Eastern Street and Montacute Yards also both sit just a stones throw away.