Heal’s has collaborated with London-based social workspace, Forge & Co to introduce a new co-working café to its Tottenham Court Road store. Situated on the first floor, Forge & Co at Heal’s offers a rejuvenating, creative hub combining co-working space for customers and local residents with a lounge bar and a British brasserie – named ‘The Canteen’, in tribute to the space’s original use as an eatery for Heal’s workers.
Carmel Allen, Creative Director, Heal’s, comments, ‘The Heal’s building has been a hive of industry since 1810. In fact, the mattress factory and furniture making workshops were only moved from behind the store in the 1990s. All that creativity in one place is a great thing so it’s fantastic to have Forge & Co in the building as a place where start-ups, small businesses and individuals can rent desks with like-minded people in an environment of co-creation.’
Cymon Eckel, Co-founder of Forge & Co, adds, ‘This is a fantastic collaboration that we’re sincerely delighted to be a part of. Ambrose Heal devoted himself to many of the qualities we aspire to here at Forge & Co, such as craftsmanship, innovation and community. Furthermore we’re really excited about connecting the east end and the west end.’
Forge & Co at Heal’s reinforces the ‘social working’ phenomenon where professional and leisure activities meet, allowing us to exchange and grow ideas together in a stimulating, collaborative working environment. Architects Moxey Associates have created a contemporary, multi-functioning space, encompassing co-working, meeting, dining and lounging zones.
‘Nestled within the comforts of the Heal’s store, the new café is designed not only to be a hub within the Heal’s building but also a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the West End. The overall aesthetic is relaxed and comfortable, using carefully selected pieces from the Heal’s furniture and lighting range to create a classic style with a fresh, modern twist,’ says Simon Moxey of Moxey Associates.
The co-working space, a member-exclusive area inside the new café, consists of 14 individual, hand-crafted desks that are specially designed by Moxey Associates, and the beautiful, ergonomically designed Gas chairs by Jesús Gasca from STUA. The desks are available to rent on a monthly basis, while the meetings rooms can be hired out to external parties. Before entering the co-working space, there is also a library that includes contemporary furniture from STUA and a collection of pendants from Tom Dixon.
Open to the public to offer a soothing space to unwind, the café bar is highlighted by a range of Original 1227 pendants from Anglepoise, Blu Dot’s Hot Mesh bar stools and fluted timber wall panels inspired by those of the original Cecil Brewer staircase in-store. To complement the bar, the adjacent lounge area is furnished with plush Banbury velvet sofas from Heal’s and carefully selected lighting designs including brass and glass pendants by Michael Anastassiades.
The Canteen’s modern decor combines furnishing fabrics including Trees by Cressida Bell for Heal’s 1810 Collection, with classic Ercol furniture and STUA’s bespoke Lau tables by Jesús Gasca. Meanwhile, ambient lighting comes from Michael Anastassiades’ latest collection, as well as Heal’s Hitchcock wall lights.
The Canteen boasts a quintessentially British menu which features all-day brunches, with favourites including a sweet cured bacon sandwich with roast tomatoes and Portobello mushrooms, Eggs Benedict and granola made on site. Diners can also choose from starters such as steak tartar with sour dough toast and rocket or spiced quinoa salad. Mains include cider-glazed pork belly and homemade Shepard’s Pie, with desserts like Passion fruit panna cotta and Eton Mess. The bar boasts contemporary cocktails, craft beers and a selection of fine wine.
In addition, Forge & Co at Heal’s is home to an exciting cultural programme, realised by a series of monthly special events and seminars themed around Heal’s heritage and the work of Ambrose Heal.
Forge & Co at Heal’s, 1st Floor, Heal’s, 196 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am-7pm, except Thursday 10am-8pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm
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