Historical Buildings with Offices to Rent in Central London

A dramatic twilight view across the River Thames of the London skyline, centred on Big Ben. Image at LondonOfficeSpace.com.

London’s rich architectural heritage is reflected in its more than 600 listed buildings, many of which have been converted into one-of-a-kind commercial properties where it’s possible to rent office space. In this article, we explore some of the most charming Central London offices in historical buildings, and discuss what considerations need to be taken into account before setting up an office-based business in these venues.

1. Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station has a prominent location that’s nearby Central London, in the south bank of the River Thames. After being decommissioned from industrial use in the 1980s, the building was granted special Grade II listed status – something that only 6% of all the city’s listed buildings have been awarded. In 2012, redevelopment work began to transform this industrial site into a leading commercial destination.

A ground-up view of Battersea Power Station's art deco facade and two of its disused white chimneys that rise into a blue, cloudless sky. Image at LondonOfficeSpace.com.

The 42-acre site includes 200,000 square feet of dedicated office space, designed to superior standards by Foster & Partners. The office space to rent has access to private terraces, a shared roof garden, event space equipped with advanced tech, and additional facilities ranging from showers and lockers to on-site cafe / bar amenities, e-bike and e-parking spaces, and smart building technology.

In addition, the Engine Room offers collaborative office spaces, as well as meeting and conferencing facilities, with 24/7 access on the second floor of the main building. 

2. The Dock, Canada Water

This Grade II listed warehouse has been associated with business and trade since its construction in the late 19th century. Conversion into office space began in the 1980s, although the works concealed some historical features of the building’s interior, which were carefully restored when it underwent further renovation.

A view down one of the canals of Canada Water in London during the daytime. Footpaths line the canal and buildings rise to either side. Image at LondonOfficeSpace.com.

Currently, The Dock is a stylish office space that makes the most of the building’s old vaults and high ceilings, preserving original brickwork while ensuring occupiers enjoy high-quality and modern specs. This converted building now features coworking space as well as private offices that can accommodate up to 50 people. 

Moreover, office space occupiers at The Dock have easy access to multiple public transport options and are within a short walk of green areas like Southwark Park.

3. 12 Token House Yard, the City

12 Token House Yard has been a listed building since the 1970s. Located in a narrow alley right behind the Bank of England, this office building enjoys a central location in the heart of the City, only a few minutes’ walk from Bank underground station and only half a mile away from Liverpool Street station and London Bridge. 

Among its tenants are financial, IT, and legal services firms, and during many years it also served as the headquarters of HM The Queen’s stockbrokers, fund management firm Cazenove.

In addition to private office space, the building offers serviced offices, including furnished office space to rent, a staffed reception, various meeting rooms, private call pods, breakout areas, kitchen, a gym, and shower facilities. 

A view down a main street in London towards the historic Royal Exchange and the shiny high-rises of the financial district behind it. Image at LondonOfficeSpace.com.

4. Warnford Court, the City

Not far from Token House Yard is another historical building that has found new use as coworking and serviced office space. Warnford Court, which once was home to the city’s Stock Exchange offices, is located at 29 Throgmorton Street, right in the heart of the Square Mile and within easy reach of the business community in Shoreditch. 

The building offers approximately 48,000 square feet of high-spec office space, available on flexible terms to suit the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Office units in this 19th-century building range in size from 50 to 5,000 sq ft. 

Office accommodation options range from hot desk arrangements to private serviced offices, all of which benefit from on-site support.

5. Medius House, Soho

Tucked away in the beating heart of Soho and boasting a privileged location in the West End is Medius House, a Grade II listed building dating from 1898 that stands out for its sober take on Renaissance architecture. For decades, this building served as a warehouse for a music publishing firm.

Still very suited to those businesses in the creative industries, renovation work maximised existing structural features to create spacious interiors. The building comprises 60,000 sq ft of office space, plus an extension of 1,000 sq ft built in 2017 to add usable rooftop space. The building’s second floor is taken up by a coworking space operator, and the remaining floors feature private offices occupied by media and software companies. 

A daytime view in London's West End down historic Regent Street in Soho. Image at LondonOfficeSpace.com.

What to consider when renting an office in a listed building?

Operating out of a listed London building can bring prestige, culture, and enhanced networking opportunities, but prospective occupiers should take into account the following considerations:

– There may be restrictions to certain alterations and renovations, since listed buildings are protected under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and Listed Building Consent (LBC) may be required.

– Extensive fitout work will most certainly require permission, and there may be some limitations on the materials that can be used in repair and maintenance projects.

– It may be necessary to take specialised insurance for premises that have listed status.

– Unless recently renovated, listed buildings may not offer the best accessibility standards; it’s always best to check if they match the needs of employees and visitors.

In most cases, it’s more convenient to opt for coworking or serviced office space in historical buildings, since the operator will take care of any of the aspects above in consultancy with building management and local authorities.

Looking for Your Next Office Space in Central London?

Are you looking for private office space to rent in Central London? Or maybe you’re after serviced offices with flexible terms in a Greater London borough? We have a wide selection of office space to rent that will perfectly suit any business. Feel free to contact us at 020 3965 9617 to chat with one of our friendly team of office space experts. Our workspace specialists will help match you and your business with the perfect office space in London to exactly fit your unique needs.

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