Douglas House, a new six-floor office building on Great
Titchfield Street is a workplace designed to stimulate the mind of the people using it. The connection between our environments, our emotions and our productivity has become increasingly clear in recent years, and the awareness of this relationship has informed Note’s design concept for the project. In Douglas House, they aimed to create somewhere that surprises you from the moment of entry, as well as engaging the brain with touches of the unpredictable, administering what Note calls a ’gentle punch’ to all who step in off the street.

The most striking feature of the design is a curvilinear wall of glass blocks that runs the entire length of the ground floor. Based on the idea of a hand-drawn line, the wall creates a sense of light, transparency and openness throughout the space, which is split into three ‘rooms’ by the building’s two stair cores. As well as creating a passage between the rooms at the rear, the wall creates a visual connection between them with material intensity and unexpectedly fluid wavy forms, echoed in the custom-made lighting rafts. On the other side is a bank of courtyard-style meeting rooms, each with a unique layout created by the irregularity of the wall’s shape.

The inventive material palette draws strongly on natural finishes, incorporating ash stained in various shades, walnut and terrazzo. Designing around a building with extensive wear and tear, wherever possible, Note and TOG agreed to retain the existing materials from the original design. When this was not possible, materials that would be reusable in future (including steel, glass and ceramics) were selected. Where plastics were required, the team employed the 100% recyclable Tarkett IQ range of wall and floor coverings. Remarkably, they were able to salvage the building’s existing parquet floors in their entirety, lifting, renovating and replacing every last block.

Other sustainability-led initiatives include the addition of a bank of solar panels and a green biodiverse roof.

Douglas House features dedicated spaces to support the wellbeing of TOGs members. There is an Oxygen room, a space filled with green life where members can relax and connect with nature. Other amenities include a recharge room, gym, café and a parents room.