The Wing opens inaugural international branch in London


Women-only co-working space The Wing has opened a branch in central London, with interiors that draw upon a “mosh pit” of references including Gaudí buildings and English gardens.

The Wing‘s head in-house designer Laetitia Gorra told Dezeen that she “didn’t hold back” when developing the interiors of the 1,114 square-metre London outpost.

The new space takes over a five-storey townhouse just a minute’s walk from Oxford Circus tube station and is the co-working company’s first international location and ninth branch overall.

Others include Chicago, which takes cues from the architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright, and another in New York which occupies an old paper factory.

In the new London office, Gorra has attempted to give each level of the building its own personality.

The Wing London

The first floor is meant to feel distinctly European – seat-backs and cushions in a huge communal workroom have been upholstered in a floral fabric that the designer sourced in Italy, while tasselled and velvet armchairs from Portuguese furniture brand Munna have been dotted throughout.

Cone-shaped sconce lights from Italian designer Sabrina Landini have also been placed at intervals across the wall.

“I feel in this space particularly, I went outside of my comfort zone. Personally, as I designer, I’ve become a lot more confident and comfortable in my design decisions and really comfortable with going with my gut,” Gorra told Dezeen.

“I took themes and blew them up – of course as the designer you’re a little nervous as to how that’s going to turn out – but I couldn’t be happier with the end result,” she continued.

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“All the inspiration that I’ve drawn over the years, this was sort of an outlet – my head was like a mosh pit.”

The Wing London

The workroom has a host of bespoke hexagonal tables, but should guests want to take business calls in private they can also escape to one of the phone booths.

Each one is named after a famous British fictional character like Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth and Miss Moneypenny from the James Bond series.

A series of floor-to-ceiling timber shelving-units align at the rear of the room to form The Wing’s library, which offers a curated selection of books written by and about women, women-identifying and non-binary figures.

Ornaments found in Paris’ Clignancourt flea market have also used as decoration.

The Wing London

The focal point of the second floor is an expansive beauty room that riffs on traditional chintzy English interiors – almost every surface, including the central sofa, is covered in paisley-print fabric by British brand Soane.

Mirrors sit in coral-coloured arched niches, accompanied by gold-wire baskets that contain grooming products.

At this level there are also a handful of nursing rooms should women want to stop by with their babies. Each one comes complete with a changing table, an extra-wide seat to make breast pumping more comfortable and a small fridge for storing milk.

“The name The Wing comes from being an extension of your home, sort of having everything that’s offered in your home plus a lot more,” explained Gorra.

“Personally, as a working mum, I’m always looking for ways that my life can be a little bit easier and having a place that’s a one-stop-shop really allows for that.”

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There is also – for the first time at The Wing – a dedicated fitness room where members can partake in yoga classes.

The Wing London

On the third floor, corridors lined with bookable meeting rooms lead up to The Perch – a table-service cafe that offers dishes conceived in collaboration with notable women from the culinary industry.

Flower-print tiles run across the floor, selected by Gorra in a visual nod to the patterned ceramics on the facade of architect Antoni Gaudi‘s Casa Batlló building in Barcelona. Rattan dining chairs and scalloped pendant lamps have otherwise been used to dress the space.

Members can also grab a drink in the tea room on the fourth-floor, which is meant to evoke an English country garden – ornate wire-frame furnishings appear throughout, and some of the walls are gridded to resemble a trellis.

The Wing London

This level also has a gallery-style quiet workroom lined with portraits of successful women from a variety of sectors. Figures portrayed include politician Diane Abbott as well as actress and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Gorra says the decor feature is a direct move against the “stern-faced” paintings of men that often line the walls of corporate banks or law firms.

The fifth and final floor boasts an outdoor terrace where members can escape during the warm winter months and another communal work area that can double-up as an events space.

The Wing London

As the company looks to open more branches in London and across the globe, Gorra says she’ll simply continue to design for career-driven women instead of getting distracted by national differences in work culture.

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“I’m focusing on designing for entrepreneurial women, and culturally I don’t think that’s that different…it’s eager women that are wanting to put their heads down and get stuff done,” she added.

The Wing’s London branch joins a growing number of women-only co-working spaces that are springing up across the city – earlier this year saw the opening of Allbright, which is ornamented with paintings and prints by female artists.

Photography is by Tory Williams.



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