The Black & White Building

London

Design-led workplace specialists TOG have collaborated with Waugh Thistleton Architects for the launch of The Black & White Building, investigating an innovative approach to workplace design. Exploring the concept of an ‘architecture of sufficiency’, every aspect of this impressive space has a specific function, whilst all materials and procedures are as efficient and sustainable as possible. Based in the heart of Shoreditch, the seven story building aims to show that not only is timber a feasible alternative to concrete and metal in office building, but in terms of performance and sustainability it is in fact the superior option.

Internally, each design decision has been made with interaction and collaboration at the forefront. Breakout areas, pockets of outdoor space, and a rooftop with cityscape views have all been incorporated, as well as a lightwell running the full height of the building in order to maximise upon precious natural light.

The Black and White Building: Beam Coffee Table Detail | Photography by Jake Curtis
The Black and White Building: Puffer Armchairs | Photography by Jake Curtis

Creating 27% less embodied carbon than its concrete equivalent, and serving as a long-term carbon store for 1,014.7 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (55% of the building’s total), The Black and White Building is also powered by 100% renewable energy sources – including 80 solar panels situated on its rooftop.

Designed in order to produce no excess, none of the internal structure is load bearing, meaning that it can be reconfigured, dismantled, reused if necessary.

Both the interior and exterior of the building place a key emphasis on timber as the structural basis of the building – etching its sustainability credentials explicitly into the materials.

"The Black & White Building represents a major step forward for us, and–I hope–the wider industry too. It’s a statement of who we are and how we will approach sustainability; we don’t need to build the traditional way with concrete and steel anymore. We always retrofit when we can, and when we build new buildings in future, TOG is committed to constructing them from timber and other sustainable materials."

Charlie Green, co-founder, TOG

The Black & White Building is a proof of concept for both TOG and Waugh Thistleton Architects, created in the hope that it will inspire and push the larger architectural community to use carbon-minimal building methods and engineered timber materials. In the immediate term, the building will house companies in Shoreditch that are looking to make genuine commitments to sustainability. In the long term, however, it is an exemplary building, ushering in a new age of design based on circular thinking, natural materials, and low-carbon construction.

 

SCP Contracts worked closely with TOG to specify some of SCP’s own brand furniture for the space.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos of the building’s design, the upholstery specified by SCP is made at our specialist upholstery factory in Norfolk, from natural and sustainable materials. The Puffer and Clapton armchairs are 100% foam-free.

Currently, 90% of our upholstery range is created using natural, sustainable materials and traditional techniques, with the ultimate aim of creating 100% foam-free upholstery pieces. We also use water-based lacquers and other non-toxic finishes throughout our product ranges, while all of the products made from wood are made within the EU out of FSC approved timber.

Products Specified

Beam Coffee Table by Matthew Hilton for SCP

Clapton Armchair by Faudet-Harrison for SCP | upholstered in Kvadrat Savanna

Puffer Armchair by Philippe Malouin for SCP | upholstered in Olicana Calypso

 

The Black and White Building: The Clapton Armchair | Photography by Halima Mason
The Black and White Building: Break-out Space | Photography by Jake Curtis

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