British Council HQ, Stratford, London
Fit-out for British Council’s prestigious new headquarters at the heart of the International Quarter in Stratford, London.

British Council

Value. £14 million
Size. 50,000 sqft
Programme. Completed Nov 2020
Service. Architecture, Interiors & Graphics

Tom Bird

We have completed our comprehensive design work on the new global headquarters for British Council, re-locating this world-renowned cultural organisation from St James in central London to a brand new building at the International Quarter in Stratford. This landmark event ‘Move 2020’ enables wholesale transformational change to the working culture within the organisation and repositions it on the national and international stage.

The British Council has taken space on the ground, first and second floor of 1 Redman Place. The success of our fit-out has been down to the variety of new settings for activity-based working. These include open meeting rooms when there is no need for confidentiality, open collaboration for spontaneous brainstorming, and more formal benches for short periods of individual working; when in the office, these have all helped to increase the number of unplanned interactions; these unplanned interactions are one of the main things that home working has removed from a typical working day.

The vision for the ground floor is for an outward facing space where Cultural Relationships can happen, which reflects the brand and values of British Council. The design has broken down the typical barriers associated with a normal  office reception and creates a welcoming and open space, with areas for a range of exhibitions, conferencing and permanent art installations.  The bold café structure will allow collaboration between the public and members of British Council; the space includes a variety of carefully considered areas for both open presentation and focus, including an amphitheatre and more private brightly coloured quiet booths.

Taking the staircase from reception to the first floor, the main workspaces are arranged around the themes of collaboration, meeting and focus. The design has incorporated a variety of activity based work settings; choice is at the heart of the layout for the space. From workplace analysis and interviews provided by Henigan Consulting Group it became clear that over half of meetings could be held in a more open setting, with a large increase in the number of open meeting settings. Notable spaces include a double height Glass house and wintergarden also connect to a large south facing outdoor terrace overlooking the Olympic Stadium and park.


Location & First Floor


Photo Archive
Construction 2019-Present