Women-focused co-working house The Wing has opened a branch in central London, with interiors that draw upon a “mosh pit” of references together with Gaudí buildings and English gardens.
The Wing’s head in-house designer Laetitia Gorra advised Dezeen that she “didn’t hold back” when creating the interiors of the 1,114 square-metre London outpost.
The new house takes over a five-storey townhouse only a minute’s stroll from Oxford Circus tube station and is the co-working company’s first international location and ninth branch general.
Others embody Chicago, which takes cues from the architectural fashion of Frank Lloyd Wright, and one other in New York which occupies an previous paper manufacturing unit.
In the brand new London workplace, Gorra has tried to present every degree of the constructing its personal character.
The first ground is meant to really feel distinctly European – seat-backs and cushions in an enormous communal workroom have been upholstered in a floral material that the designer sourced in Italy, whereas tasselled and velvet armchairs from Portuguese furnishings model Munna have been dotted all through.
Cone-shaped sconce lights from Italian designer Sabrina Landini have additionally been positioned at intervals throughout the wall.
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“I feel in this space particularly, I went outside of my comfort zone. Personally, as I designer, I’ve become a lot more confident and comfortable in my design decisions and really comfortable with going with my gut,” Gorra told Dezeen.
“I took themes and blew them up – of course as the designer you’re a little nervous as to how that’s going to turn out – but I couldn’t be happier with the end result,” she continued.
“All the inspiration that I’ve drawn over the years, this was sort of an outlet – my head was like a mosh pit.”
The workroom has a host of bespoke hexagonal tables, but should guests want to take business calls in private they can also escape to one of the phone booths.
Each one is named after a famous British fictional character like Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth and Miss Moneypenny from the James Bond series.
A series of floor-to-ceiling timber shelving-units align at the rear of the room to form The Wing’s library, which offers a curated selection of books written by and about women, women-identifying and non-binary figures.
Ornaments found in Paris’ Clignancourt flea market have also used as decoration.
The focal point of the second floor is an expansive beauty room that riffs on traditional chintzy English interiors – almost every surface, including the central sofa, is covered in paisley-print fabric by British brand Soane.
Mirrors sit in coral-coloured arched niches, accompanied by gold-wire baskets that contain grooming products.
At this level there are also a handful of nursing rooms should women want to stop by with their babies. Each one comes complete with a changing table, an extra-wide seat to make breast pumping more comfortable and a small fridge for storing milk.
“The name The Wing comes from being an extension of your home, sort of having everything that’s offered in your home plus a lot more,” explained Gorra.
“Personally, as a working mum, I’m always looking for ways that my life can be a little bit easier and having a place that’s a one-stop-shop really allows for that.”
There is also – for the first time at The Wing – a dedicated fitness room where members can partake in yoga classes.
On the third floor, corridors lined with bookable meeting rooms lead up to The Perch – a table-service cafe that offers dishes conceived in collaboration with notable women from the culinary industry.
Flower-print tiles run across the floor, selected by Gorra in a visual nod to the patterned ceramics on the facade of architect Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Batlló building in Barcelona. Rattan dining chairs and scalloped pendant lamps have otherwise been used to dress the space.
Members can also grab a drink in the tea room on the fourth-floor, which is meant to evoke an English country garden – ornate wire-frame furnishings appear throughout, and some of the walls are gridded to resemble a trellis.
This level also has a gallery-style quiet workroom lined with portraits of successful women from a variety of sectors. Figures portrayed include politician Diane Abbott as well as actress and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Gorra says the decor feature is a direct move against the “stern-faced” paintings of men that often line the walls of corporate banks or law firms.
The fifth and final floor boasts an outdoor terrace where members can escape during the warm winter months and another communal work area that can double-up as an events space.
As the company looks to open more branches in London and across the globe, Gorra says she’ll simply continue to design for career-driven women instead of getting distracted by national differences in work culture.
“I’m focusing on designing for entrepreneurial women, and culturally I don’t think that’s that different…it’s eager women that are wanting to put their heads down and get stuff done,” she added.
The Wing’s London branch joins a growing number of women-focused office spaces that are springing up across the city – earlier this year saw the opening of members’ club Allbright, which is ornamented with paintings and prints by female artists.
Photography is by Tory Williams.