Orms recently revitalized Medius House, a former printing warehouse located on Sheraton Street in the Soho conservation area, into new venue for media tenants. Medius House is Grade II listed and was originally built in 1898 as a warehouse for the printing and bookbinding department of Novello Music Publishers.
In 1906, the same architect erected Novello House on the corner of Wardour Street and Sheraton Street to provide offices and a retail outlet for the publishing side of the business; this building has the appearance of a civic building or a guildhall and shows reference to Nordic late Renaissance.
The Orms brief was to transform the entrance, reception and office floors to create a building suited to media tenants in the heart of Soho. The total useable floor area of the building is approximately 60,000 sq ft.
The reception design was created in collaboration with contemporary artist Susie MacMurray who suspended an installation in response to the atrium space, and to the history of music and publishing embedded in the building. Named Chorus, it is made from hundreds of pieces of used sheet music, a number of the manuscripts are works by composers that Novello published and printed within this building, including Elgar, Bach, Handel and Mendelssohn.
The layering and weaving of melodic lines and sound colours are echoed in the reflections and shadows that the piece throws onto the many different surfaces in the space. The variations of density in the composition of the artwork mirror the ebb and flow of musical volume.
The office floors were taken back to their warehouse feel by exposing the structure and sandblasting all the paintwork off the brickwork. The refurbished toilets use floor to ceiling period photographs of the kind of people who would have used the building at the turn of the century.
Photos: Morley von Sternberg