If you haven’t been to London, heed this: this city is notoriously frantic and fast-paced. Nomadic creatives or entrepreneurs can find this frustrating as they search for a space to call their own. On this day, I desperately needed a quiet spot to do a bit of work. And I most certainly needed a bite to eat. With a quick call I found myself in Fitzrovia, a neighbourhood adjacent to London’s vibrant West End, and on the steps of the clubby work space: Mortimer House.
You don’t need to walk more than four blocks in London before you can chance upon a new members’ club or co-working space. Finding one that you would actually want to call your home away from home, however, is not that easy.
Mortimer House offers a new philosophy on work, and life. This 2,900-square-metre members’ club—including co-working spaces, bars, and lounges—is located in a central London seven-storey block on Mortimer Street in Fitzrovia, and it’s already giving the city’s slew of private members’ clubs a run for their money.
Work, live, work, live
The boardroom is a kitchen. The coffee break is spent in meditation. Desks are replaced with sofas and, if you’re hungry, you can stand side-by-side with the chefs and rustle yourself something up.
Founder and CEO of Mortimer House’s parent company Maslow, Guy Ivesha describes the co-working space as a “one-stop shop for successful entrepreneurs and new companies.”
Meditation and members only
The company is named after American psychologist Abraham Maslow and his philosophy of human motivation based on basic needs.
Sabina Ekund from TDC PR showed me around and helpfully gave me an explanation of what it was all about. Me? I need food, drink, sleep and exercise. I was hoping I could see life in a different dimension.
Just had lunch at the beautiful Mortimer House kitchen. I must say—it was just simply gorgeous! Very accommodating, excellent service and amazing food surrounded by [a] friendly bright inviting atmosphere. What’s not to like!
—Charlotte Paterson, Lottie Loves Beauty owner
‘The Hierarchy of Needs’ theory is that we all have needs, some physical and some emotional. There are eight levels, and the lower ones need satisfying before the higher ones. In keeping with Maslow’s philosophy, Mortimer House is catering to each of these levels through careful planning. Ivesha describes it as a “hospitality platform [that] has an element of work space rather than work space being at its core.”
Just as the hierarchy of needs begins, we have basic levels that are vital to survival such as the need for water, air, food, sleep, and then more lofty needs such as ‘esteem’, ‘self-actualization’, and ‘social needs’.
It’s all about balancing how we live and work, so we neither get lost in one and forget about the other, nor end up doing neither of either. In fact, it’s about enhancing your productivity at both working and living.
Exquisite design by excellent designers
Mortimer House makes stunning use of a building which, for many years, was masked by the shell of a corporate office. AvroKO, the now legendary New York-based team of architects and designers, has gone back to the charming roots of this Art Deco building.
The gem of a building had been in hiding since the 1970s. The architects discovered the original wooden floors in the bar and lounge spaces and restored the original bannister in the stairwell. Perhaps most stunning of all is an intricate mosaic which has been repaired and restored and creates a real sense of occasion as you enter the building.
AvroKO visualised Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and focused on the hospitality experience for members, through a tightly focused design narrative.
We tried to keep as much of the original building as possible. Where we’ve added to the building, we’ve tried to keep it within an aesthetic that feels natural. We did a lot of research into what would have been used at the time it was built.
—Adam Farmerie, AvroKO
This is AvroKO’s first co-working space and we can’t wait to see what other projects they will work on.
Something for everyone
Each floor has something different, all catering to your ‘hierarchy of needs’. It’s a great and unintrusive place to talk business while indie music plays in the background and staff serve complimentary coffee, tea and snacks.
All in all, we really enjoyed our time at Mortimer House. Now we just wish we were members!
Address: 37–41 Mortimer Street, London, W1T 3JH
Phone: +44 20 7139 4404
Membership tiers, monthly: Social, £100; Travellers, £200; Home (bureau), £1,000; and Home (study), £5,600.
For more information, please visit the Mortimer House website, or book a table at the Mediterranean-inspired Mortimer House Kitchen restaurant and check out the space while you’re there. It’s open to both members and the public.
Written by: Max Johnson