Workplace Steampunk: gpad london’s Office Transformation

Redeveloping a former Victorian gramophone factory into a modern office is a fairly unusual challenge, but one that provides a distinctly steampunk flair to the workplace. We look at gpad london’s Stylus project to see how the redevelopment came together

Completed at the start of this year in the Old Street district of London, the UK, gpad london’s Stylius project has seen a former Victorian gramophone factory transformed into a vibrant, modern office space. 

The Victorian origins of the design have by no means been ignored. There is a distinctly steampunk feel to the project, which is most clearly realised in the reception through ‘The Dream Machine’, a striking reception desk developed in partnership with Mamou-Mani Architects that pairs a salvaged goods lift motor with glowing, 3D printed flutes. 

Across the rest of the building, the space’s industrial past is deeply referenced, with visible black steel beams and other historic fixtures retained to provide a visual flair to the space.

This is contrasted with a simple but sharp contemporary style designed to appeal to the large number of tech companies in the area, which enables the flexible use of the building, including co-working.

Extensive glazing is also used to maximise daylight, with powder-coated, Crittal-style windows used to reference the original industrial fixtures. 

The project also includes a significant amount of planting, in the form of a green roof on the newly created fourth floor and living walls on the roof terrace and basement floor courtyard.

“This project came about because the client was really interested in the building. The challenge was how to bring it back to life for the busy media and tech community in Old Street, while still respecting the building’s Victorian past,” explained architect Graeme Winestone.

“We had the opportunity to put a real creative twist on it. The anachronistic feel of steampunk presented itself as the perfect way to connect the two eras.”