Gensler Changes the Face of Silicon Roundabout with TechHub’s 90-day Build
LONDON, FEBRUARY 06, 2014 – Today, global design firm Gensler reveals TechHub at 207 Old Street, home to some of the fastest growing tech businesses in London. To date, TechHub companies have raised more than US$200 million in funding; and after a focus on national and international expansion including, Manchester, Swansea, Riga, Bucharest and Berlin, TechHub is redoubling its efforts on its community in London.
In true startup style, the company needed to expand, and fast. Moving from its original site launched in July 2010, TechHub had just 90 days to contract, design, build and move into a new space, with its member companies growing continuously through the process. Gensler stepped in, collaborating with contractors TPS Interiors Ltd to help make it happen.
“Since David Cameron officially launched London’s Tech City in 2010, just five months after the launch of TechHub, incorporation of tech and digital companies has grown by more than 75 percent and a staggering 27 percent of all job growth in London now comes from the tech and digital sector,” said Gensler Managing Director Duncan Swinhoe. “TechHub is at the very heart of this development, and like the rest of the industry rapid prototyping and speed to market is essential.”
The project aims to accommodate TechHub’s maturing startups, creating a new model meeting the needs of London’s fast-growth tech firms. The resulting workplace plan incorporates a strong balance of highly flexible team spaces allowing emerging companies to create their own team culture, large community areas, plus agile social spaces that maintain the energy and spontaneity of startup life. Companies like these want to remain part of the vibrant startup culture engendered by TechHub, bringing them all together both physically and virtually.
Elizabeth Varley, TechHub’s Co-Founder & CEO said: “This was the first project delivered by our new Global Projects Director, Andrew Tibbitts. TechHub Old Street is a clear demonstration of how strong design works with the energetic and dynamic nature of TechHub’s startup culture and the lightning speed of the tech industry. It’s a perfect example of how companies can rapidly and affordably transform a space to work for a vibrant community.”
TechHub Old Street combines creative thinking with raw urban character to yield an energetic yet functional montage of exposed concrete, plywood and glass. A visitor’s first experience begins at street level. Colourful internal lighting placed in the second floor windows creates external brand identification and impact, visible from the nearby underground station and the Old Street roundabout.
Bold and playful graphics run through the space, ensuring a rich and engaging brand expression throughout. Reception signage is realised in exposed yellow neon and the working space is organized through the use of simple, colourful graphics that are both identification for the team suites and a mode of wayfinding within the space. Additional graphics reinforce the startup culture through the use of bold key phrases, references to computer programming syntax and icons of “pure joy” (a gigantic cheeseburger for example).
TechHub was founded in 2010 by Elizabeth Varley and Mike Butcher and is a growing community of thousands of tech entrepreneurs and a network of spaces for startups. It offers flexible workspace facilities, events, workshops, advice sessions, contacts, PR and press opportunities and an important tech industry network. TechHub London has two sites in Shoreditch’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ with one opening on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2014, and has additional sites in Manchester, Swansea, Riga in Latvia, and Bucharest in Romania. Further new TechHub cities have been announced in Berlin, Germany and Bangalore, India and more will be announced in 2014 as part of the company’s global expansion.