The Yellow Building is a dramatic, seven-storey headquarters building designed to house all head office staff and design departments of Monsoon Accessorize and showcase the unique Monsoon Art Collection. Commissioned by Peter Simon, founder of Monsoon, the new building is the first of four phases of development set to transform the site on the edge of Notting Hill into a vibrant new urban quarter.
With the new HQ building acting as a catalyst for the regeneration of the site, it had to create a new landmark within the cityscape that would signal the revitalisation of the area. The building rises over the low-level studios and warehouses of White City with a bold, striped façade of highly transparent low-e glass and sunflower yellow spandrels. The colour yellow, selected for its charismatic and unique associations, also augments the Monsoon brand itself in terms of its vibrancy and energy.
The brief from Monsoon Accessorize was for an inspiring building that would facilitate connectivity and visibility between the various departments and fashion brands to encourage collaboration. The seven-storey building is organized as open, unobstructed floor plates either side of a linear atrium. Rising through this dramatic space is a great open staircase whose landings serve as links between adjacent floors and as sitting and informal meeting spaces. The building has been designed to meet specific needs of the Monsoon organisation and also work as a speculative office building with floors designed to be sublet. The fully serviced, environmentally-friendly office building also serves as a public building at ground floor with a staff restaurant and areas for events and fashion shows
As early proposals for the building were developed, an idea for a triangulated structure reminded Peter Simon of an early version of the Monsoon logo and the concept was progressed. Working closely with engineers Adams Kara Taylor, a dramatic, diagonal concrete grid was developed that wrapped around the building providing structural rigidity without the need for cores. The development of the unique structure also defined the form and look of the building. The diagonal geometry of the exposed concrete structural members provides a cathedral-like drama to the atrium reinforcing its role as the heart of a creative powerhouse.
Overall the building has a ‘studio’ type feel and aesthetic which is particularly reflected in the traditional looking sawtooth roof. This roof profile provides a high volume of light at the upper levels, and also feature rooflights over the atrium space. The roof trusses are formed from steelwork, allowing a lightweight roof and enabling the internal concrete columns to stop beneath the uppermost occupied level. The roof trusses are supported by ‘V’ shaped steel beams which spring from the tips of the concrete lattice. This interface between the steel and concrete structure required a bespoke detail
The Yellow Building is an environmentally smart, thermally massive, structurally light building that suggests that the office of the future can be as delightful to occupy as the factories of the past are to re-inhabit.
Awards British Construction Industry Building Award 2009 RIBA Award for Architecture 2009 World Architecture Festival – Highly Commended Lighting Design Awards – Workspace lighting – Highly Commended, 2006