Servcorp’s 5-Star London Coworking Space a “world first”

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Servcorp's 5-Star London Coworking Space a “world first”

SEPTEMBER 2015 | Servcorp UK

Pay a visit to Servcorp's Devonshire House business centre in London and you'll get the full Mayfair experience – an elegant listed building, ornate decor, classic Palladian architecture and lavish interiors.

Not to mention a well-dressed gentleman at the door to usher you inside.

As the former London residence of the Dukes of Devonshire in the 18th and 19th centuries, a luxury experience should come as no surprise. But is it a good fit for a coworking space?

Krystle Sulway, Servcorp UK Senior Manager, says their new flagship coworking space at Devonshire House represents “the world's first five-star coworking space”, with the rest of their UK locations including the Leadenhall Building, 69 Old Broad Street and 40 Bank Street in Canary Wharf set to follow suit.

In addition to London, she explained that they plan to introduce coworking at a number of other locations including Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, and One World Trade Centre in New York.

“Lengthy process”

Yet despite the luxury allure of a W1 postcode, this particular location is not all pomp and ceremony. In classic coworking style, the space has rebelled against its corporate splendour and taken on a dash of contemporary creativity – in the form of a graffiti wall.

A graffiti wall? In a listed building? It's probably not what you'd expect. But in the name of productivity and eye-catching individuality, today's office design knows no boundaries (remember the comic book wall art made of post-it notes?)

Plus, it's not that sort of graffiti. True to Servcorp's style, this particular wall was painstakingly designed and sprayed by a team of professionals, who created a beautiful mixed city skyline. Commenting on the design, Sulway said: “It has been a lengthy process which started back in April, incorporating input from our CEO.

“Together we have been liaising with the graffiti design team to develop a skyline which identifies some of Servcorp's most exclusive office locations including Emirates Towers in Dubai, Mori Trust Marunouchi in Tokyo, The Cheesegrater in London, Marina Bay in Singapore, and 21FC in Hong Kong, to name a few.”

The coworking space also provides ‘beaconised' desks with multiple functions, triggered by waving a smartphone over a hotspot. There are bike racks, shower facilities and complimentary afternoon beer.

“We have had nothing but positive feedback,” added Sulway. “Every part of the fit out has been carefully thought out and finished to the highest standard possible with no expense spared.”

Officebroker's Corporate Account Director Alex Williamson, who visited the workspace, said it captures the essence of traditional Mayfair exuberance. “It's five-star coworking in one of the most prestigious buildings in London,” he said. Even so, he believes the quirky graffiti wall manages to reflect the style and allure of some of coworking's much-loved independent spaces.

And let's be honest, the free afternoon beer probably helps too.

Corporate appeal

As for the type of businesses Servcorp intends to attract, Sulway expects a range of clients including mobile workers and “multinationals with travelling employees”. Indeed, given Servcorp's position in the flexible workspace market and their particular slant on coworking, this location is likely to appeal to travelling employees of corporate organisations.

“We support 50% of the world's top 500 companies,” Sulway added. “Global corporations including Microsoft, Google, Apple, Bloomberg, JP Morgan and Etihad Airways, to name a few, have been supported by Servcorp somewhere in the world and have grown within the Servcorp network.”

Over the years we've seen coworking spaces emerge and thrive for every type of entrepreneur and business imaginable. There's coworking for rock climbers, surfers, winter sports enthusiasts, charities, tech firms, and school kids. There's even coworking for cannabis farmers. So why not a listed building in affluent Mayfair? Servcorp doesn't do anything by half, and their “no expense spared” approach and bold confidence suggests this corner of the coworking market could offer untapped opportunities.

Jo Disney, Officing today