Former London Metropolitan Police building transformed into flagship workspace

Former riverfront Police HQ gets a £21m makeover to become a thriving co-working hub.

Ceilings with Troldtekt acoustic panels in office buildings

Architects Stanton Williams and Universal Design Group have transformed an austere 1960s former Police Headquarters into 8,800 square metres of flexible shared offices together with a bar, cafe, gym, workshop and event spaces.

Tintagel House was originally home to the Metropolitan Police and the famous ‘Flying Squad’, the Police’s elite group of police detectives tasked with tackling violent crime. The building now has a complete makeover with a new extension at ground level and a new floating canopy roof with a bar and terrace for users of the co-working spaces.

The interior design was undertaken by Universal Design Group and drew inspiration from the building’s past, most notably as the home of the first police computer and a centre of excellence for data processing technologies. Materials such as brushed stainless steel, terrazzo and block colours contrast with contemporary fittings and provide a strong graphic quality.

The scheme is designed to accommodate and foster the creative culture of the 17,000-strong working community, with the interior spaces offering degrees of privacy. It includes co-working spaces along with meeting and hospitality areas. The public areas are large and spacious and designed to generate a collaborative working environment and to generate opportunities for people to meet and connect.

Jason Holley, Universal Design Studio director, commented: ‘Working with the grain of the existing building and drawing on our knowledge of the local history we have created a diverse set of spaces, designed to nurture a creative culture that feels both sympathetic, yet thoroughly modern and innovative.’

With many large and open areas with hard surfaces, controlling acoustics was an important consideration and Troldtekt’s wood wool panels were specified for the ground floor lounge and large multi-use spaces. They complement the wide use of reused high-quality hard natural finishes, including concrete, timber and terrazzo and newly added brushed stainless steel. The result is a collection of rich and varied spaces that push the boundaries of what a workspace can and should be.