A landmark workplace in Central London

ConForm Architects chose Clippings to deliver a modern, serene furniture concept within the award-winning workplace in London’s brutalist Smithson Tower.


Project summary

  • Development of loose furniture specification in collaboration with end client
  • Using the Clippings platform allowed for a speedy product selection process
  • Clippings managed comms with all suppliers, navigating through Covid-impacted supply challenges
  • Collection of all deliveries in the Clippings’ London warehouse
  • Consolidated delivery with Clippings project manager overseeing the installation

Reinventing the workplace

Designed in the 60s, the iconic Grade II listed Smithson Tower (formerly the Economist Building) was refurbished in 2016 with each floor empty and ready for individual leases. A financial client approached ConForm architects to create a calm, welcoming and tactile workspace for their office on the 11th floor.

Overlooking Central London, the renovation by ConForm Architects brings the daylight into any corner of the interior.

Ben Edgley, Partner at ConForm, understood the brief immediately: “We were approached by the investment firm off the back of a lot of our residential work. They appreciated the material tactility and attention to detail, which they wanted to work into their project. They were looking for more of a domestic scaled environment that was to be both calm and peaceful with key spaces to collaborate. We were appointed on the project before Covid but the general mood seems to be changing, with companies becoming more ambitious with their spaces and what they offer their employees. Our client was ahead of the curve”. 

The choice of clean-lined, sculptural furniture enhances the calm atmosphere. Shown here: Reverse Table Lamp by Menu, Masculo Dining Chair by Gubi, and the Insert Side Table by Ferm Living.

“The floor was split into two main working zones, one for the investment team and one for the operations team, with a boardroom / meeting area and a kitchen. They didn’t want a formal reception and opted to use this area as an informal library space with varied areas where people can collaborate.” 

The office concept won Conform Architects the best Workplace Fit-Out of the AJ Retrofit Awards 2022, and it has been shortlisted for the 2022 RIBA London Awards.

Finding the right furniture to do the space justice

ConForm chose Clippings to procure all loose furniture requirements for the shared spaces. A lot of the furniture chosen was to complement the mid-century feel of the building. “It’s a 60s built tower, so we wanted to choose pieces in keeping with that. The client was extremely visual and, after initially having spent a lot of time visiting showrooms, the platform was invaluable.

Being able to see all the products so clearly on the Clippings website was really useful. We chose every piece of furniture with the client and were able to share the images, prices and selections so easily with them. It saved us a lot of time having to source all the images and allowed us to focus on the design. It’s a very intuitive platform and the client was swayed by Clippings because of this. So much so in fact that they continue to use Clippings today as they grow the business and purchase new pieces”.

Calm beige and grey hues define the colour scheme, while the sharp angles of the building are contrasted with furniture featuring curved lines.

Working with Clippings

Ben came to learn about Clippings through peers that had used the platform before. “We met with James and the team initially and it was quite a seamless process from there. The platform, delivery process and ease with which you could choose the right products was straightforward”.

Our specification team also helped ConForm to source additional pieces that weren’t already on the platform. “Working with Clippings was really great,” continues Ben, “we didn’t have to collate pictures or products. Everything was there and it was all effortless. Where we needed additional products, the team were so helpful to source, cost and send over what we needed. It saved us a lot of time and helped us put products in front of the client easily, with all the relevant info right there.”

Photography: Lorenzo Zandri (1-3; 5,6,)/ Nicholas Worley (4)

The fit-out materials wood and stone return in the chosen furniture: the Reverse Table Light from Menu is made from travertine and the Masculo chairs from Gubi have a solid wood base.
The Grade II-listed Smithson Tower, designed in the early 1960ies, is one of the few high-rise buildings in Mayfair.

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