The Laszlo London 2018–2021

The Laszlo is a remodelled five-storey building dating from c.1900. The former Batavia Mills building has been thoughtfully reconfigured for Dorrington, who specialise in repositioning office buildings. The Laszlo is, in effect, an adaptive reuse warehouse project for creating flexible workspaces that uses our artistic sensibility, including a refined approach to working with colour, to celebrate and extend the building’s industrial heritage.

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    A celebration and extension of an industrial language, one that breathes new life into the building whilst simultaneously making it more itself
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    The ‘Backyard’ designed by Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects, including a greenhouse and grow-beds, provides respite within a grove of birch and cherry trees, along with plantings and climbers that will over time literally knit the building to its surroundings
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    Planometric, exterior
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    Planometric, ground floor
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    Blockwork walls shape a group of interconnected rooms – hall, lift lobby, reception and “living room” (seen here)
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    Pieces of furniture are imagined and made as oversized elements of structure, placing them in playful dialogue with the building’s newly exposed frame
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  • Drone footage courtesy of Open Contracts, main contractor for The Laszlo.
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    The staircase is an illustration of how the articulation of architectural elements strengthens the original character of the building
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    Section AA'
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    Section BB'
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    For decades, office building construction has been staged into “shell and core” and subsequent “fit-out”, reflecting a speculative approach. The specificity of the office interior – the degree to which it is branded, furnished and dressed, much like a hotel might be – has intensified as the product-nature of the office, rendering it disposable
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    In this context, The Laszlo’s design seeks to illustrate how elementary the construction of an office might be, by exposing the 100-year-old fabric and making adjustments to it with low-tech building techniques and materials
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    On the top floor, the new work reveals the 1980s steel and timber joisted roof. Throughout, exposed steel beams and cable trays are coloured ivory and light grey, contributing to a painterly interior on which daylight and artificial light fall, and shadows are cast
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    Plans, first floor (left) and second floor (right). A painting by Lazlo Moholy Nagy became the inspiration for the repairs we made to the concrete floors, inlaying earth-coloured screed where partitions previously cut into the floor had been removed
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    The introduction of a subtle and consideared colour scheme gives fittings and fixtures an architectural quality, coherence and rigour that separates these from the usual surface styling of interior designers
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    The doors take their cue from Josef Albers’s colour studies, their frames superimposed like a canvas hung on a wall
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    The Laszlo uses a refined approach to working with colour
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    Reusing the existing building in this way equates to a saving of 80 years of operational carbon emissions
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    It provides flexible creative workspace with meeting rooms
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    Interior Elevation
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    Blockwork – at times fair-face and irregularly laid, at others grooved - adds tactility and texture at strategic points within the interior
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    From an environmental perspective, it is important to note that the blockwork partitions employed have lower embodied carbon than the more common steel stud wall equivalents


  • Appointment: 2016
  • Construction start: 2020
  • Completion: 2021
  • Area: 2600m2
  • Budget: confidential
  • Client: Dorrington
  • Photographer: David Grandorge, Nick Kane



  • The Plan Awards, Renovation, (Shortlisted) 2022
  • AJ Retrofit Awards, Workplace £5-10 million, (Winner) 2022
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