The Hickman


Conran and Partners were appointed by British developer, GPE, to create an inviting and captivating entrance to its latest office building in Aldgate, East London. The mission was to design a space that would be much more than simply an entrance to an office building – it would become a social space where workers, guests and passers-by could congregate, work and socialise in an inspiring and uplifting environment. Responding to the brief, Conran and Partners designed a multi-functional space with a variety of zones, including a café, a lounge area and a range of seating options to cater to this mix of uses. 

The former warehouse building, which is steeped in history having been the home of industrial manufacturers ‘Buck & Hickman’ for many years, provided a rich source of inspiration for the designers. So too did the location, in the heart of an artistic and vibrant part of the capital, where internationally renowned artists including Hockney and Picasso displayed their first works at the nearby Whitechapel Gallery.

Referencing the building’s industrial heritage, the designers introduced several large workbenches and even procured a selection of Buck & Hickman’s original tools to create a striking display cabinet in the café area.

Re-use was a key focus for the design team, who introduced recycled lighting, tables made from melted recycled plastic and a selection of vintage furniture.


The result is a vibrant and inviting space that anchors the building in its location and provides an uplifting and dynamic environment for office workers and their guests to assemble and innovate.