Sky Lobby at 111 Buckingham Palace Road

Instead of building on the existing design identity, Oktra introduced a whole new look and feel to acknowledge the expanding function at Sky Lobby at 111 Buckingham Palace Road.

  • area / size 13,000 sqft
  • Year 2020
  • Oktra first fitted out the atrium of 111 Buckingham Palace Road in 2016. Having seen the success of this shared amenity, Kennedy Wilson appointed the design and build firm to refurbish the space in 2020 in response to evolving tenant demands. The Sky Lobby’s popularity with tenants combined with recent changes in the base build presented the opportunity to reinvest in the space and maximise its potential, leading Oktra to double the atrium facility in size. This addition has raised the profile of the building and is a powerful asset for attracting and retaining tenants. The project also included a Cat A fit out on the fourth floor, where Oktra were later instructed to deliver a Cat B fit out for the incoming tenant.

    Oktra discussed the lessons they learned from the previous fit out with the building owner and identified underutilised areas to conceive the new design. Successful components have been carried forward and given a new look, while less popular elements have been removed and replaced with workspace that caters to modern tenant needs.

    For example, congestion had caused distraction and people shied away from communal working or having meetings here. The new scheme is defined by a diagonal thoroughfare that provides protected zones that minimise noise levels and help workers to feel comfortable, and a designated queuing area that doesn’t impede use of the building. The balance of public and private space promotes interaction, collaboration, and social gathering. The result is a highly optimised space that exemplifies current workplace trends and will inspire occupiers to adapt their own office to the design principles it stands for.

    The material and colour palette are a departure from the previous cooler, more corporate aesthetic, and lean towards the softer ‘resimercial’ design trend with natural finishes, biophilia and warm lighting.

    The naturally lit atrium is a refreshing space to work in that promotes choice and movement within an open plan, much like an agile or hybrid office. The relaxed feel of the space also provides a level of comfort similar to that of working from home and will be an asset to tenants looking entice their employees back to the office. The tech-enhanced workspace alongside a fully equipped café resembles a coworking environment that tenants can use for meetings or a change of scene from their office.

    Kennedy Wilson have built sustainability into their real estate portfolio and significantly cut the energy consumption of this building through a series of refurbishments and waste management schemes since acquisition. Therefore, it was important that Oktra minimise the carbon emissions created from this project during the build, and throughout its period of use. Oktra reused furniture from the previous fit out and sourced a local contractor while recycling 100% of waste on site. The infrastructure within the design supports waste management in the café – from the way cups are collected, to how food is offered, and energy usage.

    Design: Oktra
    Photography: Oliver Pohlmann