Into Africa: blending the modern with the traditional
Mishcon de Reya began in a one man office in Brixton, where it was founded by Victor Mishcon in 1937. In 1961, it had opened a second office in Holborn – the area it has been based in ever since.
We began our search for new, larger premises in 2012, and considered moving out of Holborn. However, as our Chairman Philip Freedman CBE QC conceded, our presence in Midtown "is part of our DNA". A 122,000 square foot Grade II listed building at 70 Kingsway and formerly multi-let offices, Africa House presented an opportunity for us to create a space that we felt best reflected who we are as a firm.
Africa House has stood the test of time since it was designed in the early 1920s by Trehearne & Norman, with its exterior retaining its original features, including a set of figures by the artist Benjamin Clemens. But we also had big aspirations for the interior: we wanted the client areas to be inviting and comfortable and for the office areas, most importantly, to meet the evolving needs of our business. An extensive refurbishment ensued.
Once we had confirmed that Africa House was the right location for us, we set about specifying our requirements. We engaged architecture and design firm TP Bennett to help us bring to life our vision of creating an open, collaborative space that also enabled us to retain the confidential areas that are necessary within a law firm environment. One of our real estate partners, Ian Paul was heavily involved in every detail of the design of our stylish ground floor client lounge.