Last year, in the light of the London Marathon, we looked at how decorative preparation is much like endurance training. How about the race itself though? Having been lucky enough to run the 26.2 miles around London this Sunday, it struck me how many office types feature along the route. Imagining the variety of interior design on offer behind the crowds certainly gave me something else to think about other than the oppressive heat!
Out of Town
Starting off in Greenwich Park, the first 6 miles take us around Woolwich. At first glance this could be any suburban area, but look closer and it reveals the bustling small scale industry of outer London. With offices hidden above homes and shops, it’s where the businesses of the future are starting out.
As we reach miles 8 to 10, Deptford and Bermondsey start to reveal buildings converted or built for business use. This is the world of the flexible and serviced office space. Decoration needs to be clean and minimal so that offices are fit for use at short notice and for relatively short time scales. It’s about making the space attractive for the widest range of businesses.
Mile 12 – nearly half way! As we cross to the North side of Tower Bridge, we enter a whole new world of business. Suddenly, brick turns to glass and new development upon new development seem to line the route.
(This was great for me, by the way – these buildings provided some much needed shade!)
Inside today’s new build office, facilities have evolved. When businesses make these spaces their home, they want to make it their own. Culinary, entertainment and social spaces within an office have increased in importance and decoration is focussed on encouraging creativity and productivity.
As we pound the streets of the Docklands, a great deal of the space is residential. Beautiful redeveloped warehouses line the route and I was transported to the past (possibly hallucinating!) when these streets were a swarming hive of industry. It’s a reminder of how London buildings are testament to a history that should be respected in maintenance and decoration.
Scraping the Sky
Around mile 18 we hit another world of office. This zone of towering glass is something else. We all know how spectacular the exterior of skyscrapers like Canary Wharf are, but take a moment to consider the interiors. Playing host to multiple organisations, all of whom want to make their own mark on the space, requires a very special building. The building itself becomes a universe to the different planets on each floor. All of which manage to create an distinctive environment purely through the power of decoration and layout.
Skirting the City, miles 23 and 24 take us along some great office locations. With riverside views and a remarkable mix of buildings, this stretch is emblematic of London. From this vantage point, modern meets ancient and purpose-built crosses with the evolved. You realise how unique a working place London is. It takes a dedicated decorator to work with all of these diverse property types.
Casting an eye around during the final stretch up the Mall, it’s hard to believe that office space is ensconced in these spectacularly grand listed buildings. But they do, and they present a much more delicate challenge than newly built office space. Working within the parameters of a historic building, we must work to maintain original features while allowing the space to facilitate the modern working environment.
Essentially, what this all reveals is that London is absolutely unique in its massive scale and scope of buildings used as office space. The #spiritoflondon that surrounds the London Marathon exists beyond the race itself. The city, and we mean the whole of the city from Charlton to Westminster, is distinctively vibrant and dynamic. At HL Decorating we pride ourselves on achieving the high standards to do this city justice, whatever your office type.