This London Co-Working Space Bases You Out Of MI6's Former Headquarters
We're at the point now where Journalists, and we're speaking from experience here, are invited to the launches of co-working spaces almost as regularly as we are restaurants, bars or hotels. They're the trendiest thing in the careers world right now, sold as uber-hip havens of free Friday drinks, dog-friendliness. and cold-drip on tap.
The reality, though, is that as much as they're hyped up as meccas to interior architecture and progressive workplace conditions, they're generally pretty unremarkable places. Put simply, once you've seen one, you've largely seen them all. Go to the office of any relatively well-equipped start-up, and you've captured the vibe of a co-working space.
However, every now and then, a newly repurposed space does spring up to tempt us into a career change just so we could potentially work there. And one has emerged in London in the form of Westminster's Public Hall.
The majority of stories about the space being published right now are reporting claims that Public Hall, l, is situated in what was once the headquarters of MI6: home to Britain's real-life intelligence service and, in turn, James Bond. We weren't able to find any official record of the MI6 operating out of the space, but Public Hall don't seem to be refuting the claims.
The SIS, as MI6 is officially called, operated out of Lambeth's Century House until 2001 and 54 Broadway before that. So if the space was used as Spy HQ at any point, it was likely a secondary base for the service.
Even so, the building boasts a wealth of history owing to its 19th century construction — something the space's architects, Sella Concept, sought to accentuate. “The main objective was to retain the grandeur of the space while injecting a playful nature- a piece of the past and a step into the future," Tatjana von Stein, co-founder of Sella Concept, told Airows.
"We added a contemporary layer that merges both worlds with a discreet elegance that can make you feel calm, at home, and inspired to create.”
Placed in the heart of the policy-making nerve centre of the UK, the building sits on Horse Guards Row, which to this day is where the Ministry of Defence building is located. It's also walking distance from the main government offices of the UK at Downing Street.
A "GovTech focused workspace," the workspace's website states that its aim is "bringing together a curated community of startups, investors and innovators transforming public services."
Among the new-age workspace features Public Hall boasts is a wellness routine, weekly breakfasts, and a multitude of event spaces and meeting rooms to suit the mood of those occupying it at the time.