Behind this is an events space that can be used for film screenings, music performances and lectures, as well as for company meetings and workshops. It features a curved bank of seating, painted with glossy orange paint, and a selection of mismatched chairs. The main seating area is contained within the orange tunnel, described by the architects as a greenhouse. Inspired by Richard Rogers’ River Cafe, the area doubles up as an informal workspace. “It’s not glass, it’s plastic so it can move and it absorbs sound. Each one is soundproofed, thanks to the insulating properties of the acrylic. These maintain views all the way through the building, from the front to the rear. Legs can be screwed on and off, to ensure stability when people are leaning on it. You can have people working and you really don’t hear anything.”
“It’s also the most transparent material you can have,” he added. “We realised that we had this great opportunity for transparency in the building,” José Selgas told Dezeen during a tour of Second Home earlier today. Located in a former carpet factory in Shoreditch, Second Home is a collaborative workspace for various small companies, featuring transparent acrylic walls, over a thousand plants and a so-called “flying table”. “We know about the softness of the material, it’s very good for acoustics,” said Selgas. The architects, whose own office is a transparent woodland tunnel, also added extra glazing to the outer walls to reinforce this visual connection. To ensure the flexibility in this room, it features a grand U-shaped meeting table that can be winched up towards the ceiling when not in use. The various offices are spread out over two floors, all contained behind the bubble-like plastic partitions. Corridors feature slightly lower ceilings than rooms. This is because ventilation ducts and other services have been concealed overhead, but also creates a feeling of openness in the workspaces. Related story: Madrid-based SelgasCano to design Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2015At the front of the two-storey space is a canteen restaurant where occupants are encouraged to interact with one another and share ideas. I think it works perfectly, because now we have this relationship with the neighbours.”
Some of the curvy glass enclosures are small workspaces for four to five people, while others can accommodate as many as 20, including several double-height spaces. “Now we’ve opened up the rear wall, bringing it down to the level of the desks.