Aukett Swanke / Adjaye Associates / MdeAS
The landmark Verde building, in the heart of London's Victoria, has a statement glass facade and six dramatic roof gardens which together create a vast 20,000 square foot ‘park in the sky'.
It has dedicated cycle access and 440 cycle spaces. And, by retaining 80% of existing structure, the redevelopment saved over 8,500 tonnes of carbon.
A new reception desk was required for this 21st century workplace. The reception area soars over three storeys and a desk for this dramatic location needed to be a strong statement piece.
Benchmark designed a desk from huge planks of English walnut. The boards were 5m long - about as big as they come for English walnut - and were quite difficult to source. These were mitred at the corners and the edges were left waney - ie they followed the natural curve of the tree.
Splits and knots were embraced for their natural beauty, bringing an element of nature, with all its warmth and tactility, to this vast corporate reception area.