18 Feet & Rising #2

Studio Octopi, London, 2012


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Petr Krejci (website)     Download Original

  • Tunnel    
  • Tunnel    
  • Tunnel storage    
  • Kitchen/cafe    
  • Kitchen    
  • Break-out    
  • Work-cog    
  • Tunnel detail    
  • Boardroom    
  • Plan    
  • Kitchen drawing    

Third floor Cat B fit-out of a 1930's concrete framed former rag factory for advertising agency, 18 Feet & Rising

After designing 18 Feet & Rising’s work desks, Studio Octopi were commissioned to work on the fit-out of their new 5,300sqft offices in central London.

Appointment to completion of the fit-out was only a period of two months which was quicker than the time it took to design and build the 18 Feet & Rising work desks (see our 2011 AJ Small Project entry). To achieve this timeframe the client transferred full creative control to Studio Octopi. Only a brief four words was issued by the client; emergence, vortex, action and illusion.

CEO, Jonathan Trimble stated “all final approval decisions were granted to Studio Octopi. 18 Feet would collaborate as equal creative partner but not as client." It was agreed that the project would emerge on site.

We identified three principle zones within the agency: work, socialise and pitch. Each zone was then supported by a secondary tier of: read, make and plan. The zones were defined by black stained plywood walls and woven vinyl flooring. These act as theatrical devices in function and appearance. As with theatre the design enhances the presence and immediacy of the experience.

The work desks were arranged within a cog form. On entering the agency, the end of the cog disappears out of view. It is difficult to perceive the space denoted as a work zone, there is an illusionary aspect to the design. Power and data was taken off the existing overhead supply and distributed to the desks throughout the low plywood walls.

Break out spaces are scattered to the perimeter providing views across neighbouring buildings. To the inside of the cog, the kitchen opens onto a central café seating area. There is no reception; the café area fulfils this role.

Joining the two units is a small opening. Views through the opening reveal the tunnel, the entrance to the boardroom. Approaching the entrance to the tunnel reveals more theatrics. The tunnel walls and sloping soffit are lined in ply however the supporting timber structure is visible on the other side. The tunnel reduces in height and width over its 7m length. The strong light at the end of the tunnel picks out the plywood grain and woven vinyl flooring. Within the boardroom the plywood stained walls form a backdrop for the imposing views of the Post Office Tower.

The client embraced the temporary appearance of utilitarian construction materials. As London’s fastest growing independent ad agency, it’s likely the design will be replaced within a few years. On this basis the fit-out is surprising, a little unnerving, and in places whimsical.

“It’s just incredible what happens when people are set free. They did things we never could have imagined and probably would have never approved.” Jonathan Trimble.


  • Begun: Mar 2012
  • Completed: Apr 2012
  • Floor area: 492m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £80,000
  • Tender date: Mar 2012
  • Address: 18 Feet & Rising, Threeways House, 40-44 Clipstone St, London, W1W 5DW, United Kingdom

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