The Charter Building has undergone a huge transformation. Originally a tired 1980s office building, it has been refurbished to create 240,000sq ft of high specification, contemporary workspace.

The Street

One of the key features of the design has been the introduction of a 100-metre long ‘street’ running the length of the building from the northern to southern entrance. At the centre is a spectacular five-storey atrium, which creates a perfect space for informal meetings and community events.

The Charter Building - The 'Street' Plan - Interior Design

The Desk

A custom built reception desk sits in the centre of this impressive atrium. dn-a teamed up with specialist furniture maker Benchmark to deliver the reception desk. This followed the successful delivery of the reception desks at Thames Tower.

Measuring a total of 4369mm in width and 3950mm in depth The Charter Building desk acts as the feature piece in the atrium. Set on a stainless steel plinth, the frame of the reception desk is made from Birch plywood. The three horizontal layers help break up the reception desk, giving it an organic flowing appearance, rather than a large monolithic block. The sides and front are an Elm Veneer with a mixture of quarter and crown orientation. These have been finished in a clear Osmo Oil, embracing the natural beauty of the grains within the timber. On top of the three layers is a Glacier White Corian desk top, complementing the timber. Vario LED Flex Light Strips highlights the offset layering.

Siting off-centre within the atrium, the reception desk isn’t immediately apparent to visitors from either entrance. This was important in creating a sense of drama in the space. Visitors to the building can arrive and have an uninterrupted view along the length of the internal ‘street’. This allows visitors to move along the ‘street’, exploring the variety of exciting spaces that have been created in The Charter Building.

As well as being a feature piece inside the central atrium, the reception desk has been designed to combine functionality and beauty. Purpose built draws hidden within the desk provide much needed storage space, whilst all wires have been integrated within the desk, leaving a clear, uncluttered work top, keeping the focus on the craftsmanship and materials used.


Designed to the highest standards of sustainability, from design to installation. All timbers on the project have been PEFC certified, to ensure all the timber used comes from sustainably managed forests, helping the building achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’.

Benchmark, who constructed the desk, were selected because of their approach towards sustainability; from the timber sourcing, manufacturing procedures right the way through to their employment practises and this is backed up by them being twice winners of the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.