As a naturally-ventilated spec-office with a focus on smart servicing, flexibility and adaptation to future uses and likely future climate, White Collar Factory at Old Street Yard is a brave and bold iteration of a five-year research project for Derwent London. A 16-storey tower is placed at the epicentre of London’s Tech City. A series of new alleys and passages connect a new public realm and the tower to two retained buildings and three new ones, all between four to five storeys. Together, they offer a mix of living and incubator working spaces to make a new place in the city.

Featuring long spans, flexible floor plates, operable windows, generous volumes and robust construction, the tower represents a new type of office building that takes its cue from the multi-level factory typology and uses concrete in several innovative ways. As well as forming the structure, the concrete provides the thermal mass, carries the servicing, and creates a highly expressive finish both inside and out. Board-shuttered concrete wraps the building at pavement level. Above, glazing is interspersed with metal panels punched with ‘portholes’ and banded with powder-coated aluminium spandrel panels. In contrast, the lower rise buildings have a range of brick elevation treatments that are unified by a common modular plant enclosure at roof level.

Inside, several health and wellbeing initiatives have been adopted to create a pleasant working environment where users can work, play and unwind. Tenants can enjoy a 150 metres outdoor running track and a rooftop café where they can relax after a day at work and have a drink while enjoying panoramic view towards the City of London. In the basement below, a large two-level cycle hub has rack space for 277 bikes with a dedicated cyclist entrance, space with lockers and single-sex shower cubicles with private changing.

AHMM revisited the project in 2020 to design a new creative workspace at basement level. A mezzanine level was created around the perimeter of the below ground office, connected via a suspended bridge across the space. The new studio’s meeting rooms, including the double height project room to the rear, were created using the Jack modular meeting room system, developed by AHMM and deployed on previous projects including The Office Group’s space on the first, second and third floors above.

The project has become a trademark for a building type that combines the efficiencies of a new build with the character of a 19th century warehouse.

  • 2023 BCO Test of Time Award
  • 2019 Civic Trust Awards - National Winner Commendation
  • 2018 BCO Commercial Workplace Award
  • 2018 BCO London Innovation Award
  • 2018 New London Award - Wellbeing
  • 2018 RIBA National Award
  • 2018 RIBA London Region Award
  • 2018 RICS London Award for Commercial Development
  • 2016 MIPIM UK/Estates Gazette Visionary Building of the Year
Shoreditch, London
Derwent London plc

Review of 2023 08.01.24

BCO National Awards 2023 04.10.23

RIBA London shortlist 2023 16.02.23

AHMM welcomes five new Architecture Foundation residents 26.09.22

Open House London 2022 07.09.22

AJ Architecture Awards 2022 shortlists 23.08.22

Architecture Foundation and AHMM residency programme 2022 13.06.22

AHMM at London Festival of Architecture 08.06.22

Seven young practices join AHMM at White Collar Factory 21.10.21

Architecture Foundation residencies for young architects 27.07.21

Open House London 2019 19.09.19

London Planning Awards 01.02.19

Awards Update 09.11.18

AJ Architecture Awards shortlist 09.10.18

White Collar Factory wins BCO Innovation Award 09.10.18

The Alder Centre wins WAFX category prize 09.10.18

More Awards for Weston Street and White Collar Factory 20.09.18

Awards News 05.07.18

RIBA National Awards announced 21.06.18

RIBA Regional Awards announced 17.05.18

AJ100 Awards shortlist 14.05.18

Awards for White Collar Factory and Weston Street 19.04.18

RIBA Awards regional shortlist 04.04.18

White Collar Factory launched 05.09.17

Buildings and Art 11.07.17

AHMM wins Outstanding Achievement award at Norwood Property Awards 04.07.17

Architecture and the Art of the Extra Ordinary at the British School at Rome 03.07.17

Planning approval for 225 City Road 23.03.17

UK and US awards success 21.10.16

AHMM at work... and at home 18.10.16

White Collar Factory tops out 20.04.16

Green Sky Thinking: Workspace of the Future 07.05.14

Onsite at White Collar Factory, Old Street 24.02.14

Onsite at 207 Old Street 13.02.14