Central Working Reading is a new members’ club from one of the UK’s leading shared workspace providers. Designed by experienced design studio Kinnersley Kent, the space is situated within a large new-build that can house up to 280 members over 16,000 sq. ft.
Having previously worked with Central Working on their Victoria site, which is housed in an architecturally interesting heritage building within Eccleston Yards, the challenge for Kinnersley Kent was to create a distinct identity for the Reading site on an entirely neutral backdrop. Taking their lead from the landscape and feel of Reading itself, which is full of green spaces, trees and plant life, they created a concept that would bring a sense of the natural world into the building.
The club has a range of adaptable interior spaces, including meeting rooms, private offices, kitchens, lounges, dining areas, a large central meeting area and an auditorium for talks and networking events. The design pays particular attention to how members flow around the building and is guided by some of the spatial principles that Kinnersley Kent developed for the Victoria site, such as making smaller hideaway spaces for quiet working and avoiding the creation of long corridors and closed-in spaces.
The palette of colours, textures and finishes used throughout are natural and earthy. Kinnersley Kent have applied a spectrum of green, as well as ochre and terracotta oranges, warm browns and green-greys. Plants are also used throughout the building, alongside both botanical and cityscape motifs, and a range of natural materials can be found in the furniture, fittings and objects.
The furniture typologies used are a balance between utilitarian office pieces and more domestic design classics, blended to create an environment that can be both relaxing and hardworking. Of particular note is the use of Reiko Kaneko’s Orlando lounge chair for SCP – a piece with a small footprint, yet noticeably generous proportions.
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