Monotype Digital Foundry

Ben Adams Architects, London, 2016


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The big M 

Edmund Sumner (website)     Download Original

  • The big M    
  • Social breakout space     
  • Glass phonebooth     
  • Collaborative working    
  • Bespoke meeting space    
  • Exhibition & breakout space    
  • Through the M portal    
  • Typographic details    
  • Floor plan    
  • Spine Wall Elevation    
  • Sketches    
  • Material Palette    
  • Axonometric View    
  • M Portal detail    

A studio for font and technology specialists Monotype

These digital technology makers needed an agile and inspiring workplace for their ever-growing creative team to work together both locally and across Monotype’s worldwide network of design studios.

Built around new ways of working, varied workspaces foster innovation through both face-to-face and remote collaborations: huddle rooms for small teams and video conferencing; private booths for phone calls and concentrated study; open collaboration space and a social exhibition space at its heart.
Carefully targeted interventions transform an unremarkable floor plate into a series of enticing versatile spaces to create an exciting venue for working, socialising, educating, exhibiting and entertaining. Visual connections through framed openings and layered transparent screens combine depth and intimacy to create a varied environment with enticing spatial complexity so often lacking in small single-storey spaces.
Monotype combines a passion for the traditional handcrafted type setting with expertise in cutting-edge digital technology. The fit-out was predominantly crafted by a small team of carpenters on-site, reducing costs by two-thirds in comparison to more commonplace off-site joinery fabrication.

Through a collaboration between Ben Adams Architects and Monotype’s designers, the space reflects this approach, peppered with charming typographic references and combining site-made, hand-crafted materials with modern CNC fabrication to create an architectural love-letter to the art of typography.


  • Begun: Jul 2016
  • Completed: Oct 2016
  • Floor area: 338m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £175,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: May 2016
  • Procurement: JCT Standard Building Contract
  • Address: Third floor, 141—143 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JE, United Kingdom

Professional Team