We often talk about thinking outside the box, but it’s becoming an increasingly desirable option to physically get outside the box during a typical working day.
Escaping the confines of those four office walls and spending time in a more natural environment can work wonders in boosting motivation, productivity and general well-being.
Most of us would be happy to replace even the finest office air-conditioning system with real fresh air and a stunning view any day of the week.
With that in mind, we’ve hit the streets of London to find the six best examples of Rooftop Office designs in the capital.
Take an outdoor seat and enjoy the countdown…
6. Netil 360, Westgate
Some buildings are only prepared to reveal their secrets when you dare to step beyond the door and venture inside.
In the case of Netil 360 in Westgate, a fairly dull and grey building only begins to come alive when you make the effort to climb to the very top and discover the different world kicking off in the clouds.
By night, the rooftop garden plays host to film screenings, live music, hot tubs and lively bars.
During the day, it’s a beautiful spot for a business brainstorm with a magnificent view over the East London skyline, providing dedicated co-working space and hot-desking for freelancers.
The resident dog is called Tres and is a minor celebrity in his own right amongst the business regulars. You’re even welcome to bring along your own dog if you have one in your business team. (We have one in the office. Not bad at paper-shredding but close to useless at answering the telephone.)
5. DIG Space, Farringdon
Speaking of dogs, you’re also more than welcome to bring your pooch along to the breathtaking roof terrace at DIG Space in Farringdon. When did London get so dog-friendly?
DIG Space has developed into a creative hub for leading-edge digital and media start-ups with a strong focus on collaboration at its very heart.
The workspace in the sky reflects this core value, providing a range of flexible communal and hot-desking options all under one roof.
Or, to be more accurate, slap bang on top of the roof.
The winning idea is to deliver an opportunity for natural collaboration within a new community of creatives against a truly inspiring visual backdrop.
4. Bevis Marks, Bury Ct
Designed by Fletcher Priest Architects, 6 Bevis Marks is home to one of the most acclaimed and most popular roof terrace workspaces in the UK.
Providing stunning views of central London over two directions, the sky court is protected from all weather conditions courtesy of the quite spectacular roof canopy which wraps up and over the roof garden and then stretches down four storeys of the front of the building in a diagrid to promote solar shading.
So, unlike the other entries in our countdown, this is one rooftop office that even the weather can’t spoil, winning the top prize for ‘Best Office Rooftop on a Typically Blustery British Day’.
3. London College of Fashion, Marylebone
Chartered Architecture Practice Studio Weave have a bit of a reputation for adding bright and joyful colour to a potentially dry project.
When working in a Kent woodland park, they used vividly coloured timber to wonderful effect on the design of an art studio, bird-watching hide, and rain shelter.
In a similar style, Studio Weave have used dollops of dynamic colour to inject life and soul into this rooftop gallery for the London College of Fashion.
Originally intended as a pretty cool hang-out zone for students, the concept was expanded to incorporate space for group learning, events, and meetings.
A welcome burst of colour against the concrete London skyline, the decking timber is arranged in a herringbone pattern – a visual tribute to both the Studio Weave company and the roots of the London College of Fashion.
2. WeWork, Sheraton House, Soho
WeWork have securely established a world-leading record in providing utterly exquisite and luxurious office space for hire in no less than 230 locations around the globe.
The company’s flagship office in Bengaluru, India even features…wait for it…a rooftop swimming pool. Check out the picture for visual proof.
Here in the UK, we’re still waiting for an opportunity to take a quick dip during a quiet spot in a business meeting.
But in the meantime, we’re very impressed with WeWork’s rooftop terrace at Sheraton House in Soho.
The whole historic building is imbued with vintage charm and style. The grand piano and sheet music in the entrance gives away a clue that this used to be a major music publishing house.
But stepping outside onto the rooftop terrace is very much a step into the here and now, with incredible outdoor lounge areas delivering the opportunity to soak up both the stunning views and the super-friendly atmosphere generated by the close-knit community of entrepreneurial spirits.
1. White Collar Factory, Old Street Roundabout
Here’s the winning office rooftop design which could take your breath away…but not necessarily for the reasons you might expect.
Some companies like to go the extra mile in providing breakout zones and recreational areas for loyal employees.
In the case of the White Collar Factory, they’ve only gone 150 metres and yet have managed to go far beyond the usual full distance with the construction of London’s first rooftop running track!
The two-lane cushioned ‘rubber crumb’ 150m track was designed by architecture practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.
The cladding on the outside of the building extends upwards to protect keen runners from the weather, and more crucially, from the edges of the rooftop.
Handy arrows and markers are also provided to avoid the risk of runners accidentally bumping into each other at 230ft!
It’s such a radical and daring concept that we’ve awarded it the Gold Medal in our countdown.