Old Oak is a new typology of building, introducing co-living and co-working to North London. Developed by The Collective, this innovative approach to living & working in the city has received significant press coverage via Dezeen, The Financial Times, and The Interior Photographer, as well as a rather more critical appraisal by The Guardian. We had a chat with Alexandra Malouta, senior interior architect at The Collective, to explain more - including her collaboration with Opendesk.
The Opendesk furniture in this lovely project has been made, finished and delivered by Ian Jinks, one of the very first makers in the Opendesk network, and was delivered a few months ago. Ian’s based in Harpenden, North London.
Opendesk: Who is The Collective, and what’s your big idea?!
Alexandra Malouta: The Collective is an innovative property company that’s reconsidering the design of the spaces that our generation lives and works within. The Collective has exciting projects all across London, which includes our unique co-living product and co-working spaces. I’m the senior interior architect, working within our in-house design team - a creative group including a team of interior designers and architects. As a team we’re responsible for all design elements throughout all project stages.
How did you discover Opendesk?
A big part of my job is to procure all the furniture for the spaces that we design. For that reason I’m always in a constant research for upcoming, local suppliers/ manufacturers that could be of interest to us. We’re passionate about exploring new craftspeople and small suppliers that design and sell things. I personally discovered Opendesk as I was walking by Regent’s Canal and passed the Proud Archivist to take a coffee, where there was a display of smaller objects and desks made by Opendesk. I immediately loved them and asked for further info!
Opendesk: How was the making process?
Alexandra Malouta: From the moment I came in contact with Opendesk the process has been really nicely managed - we had help during the design stage to make sure that we were picking the right furniture pieces, and we found out about the local maker, Ian. Delivery and installation was all managed by Opendesk team, which we saw as a great advantage for us during the procurement process!
Opendesk: How has Opendesk furniture been used at Old Oak?
Alexandra Malouta: Your furniture is now in our new co-working space, used by residents within our new co-living building. It’s also visited by external companies, who rent desk space. We bought a series of Lean Desks, and a number of Meeting Tables, as well as Fin Lockers and Wiki Booths in order to make the workspace environment feel right for individuals as well as larger companies.
Opendesk: Why did Opendesk appeal to you?
Alexandra Malouta: I love the concept behind the company - particularly creating a global platform for local making - as it really fits with our company values and vision. At the same time, the quality and design of the products work perfectly with our aesthetics.
Pictures by Amandine Alessandra