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Erskine’s Ark welcomes first tenant in a decade

Ralph Erskine’s ‘dark and wind-swept’ Ark office building in Hammersmith is to have its first tenant in almost ten years

Since its completion in 1992, the 15,000m² building has struggled to find occupiers. It has stood empty since 2000.

Media company Open TV will take occupancy of the 650m² ninth floor from September.

The guide describes the Ark as ‘an office concept so enlightened that it is struggling in the real world. The circulation and communal areas are wonderful, but at the cost of extraordinarily inefficient use of space in conventional office terms’.

Squeezed between the A4 Westway and a railway cutting, the post-modernist building has been criticised as a poorly-sited ‘white elephant’. Its form was intended to reference the biblical Ark with a boat-shape silhouette and a ‘waterline’ at the level of the Westway. A planned ‘ramp’ into the Ark was was never realised.

In 2006 DN-A architects won a commission to refurbish the Ark which involved increasing the size of the floor plates.

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