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Former Victorian piano factory tunes in with classic meeting room solution

Former Victorian piano factory tunes in with classic meeting room solution
A vintage 1957 Rolls Royce makes a perfect meeting room for tenants

Meeting rooms are an essential part of any office property, and many businesses require regular use of meeting facilities in order to consult with clients, suppliers, colleagues and employees.

While functional, the majority of meeting rooms can rarely lay claim to be an exciting or interesting feature of the office space.

But a business centre in Primrose Hill, a former Victorian piano factory, has bucked this trend and made something of a feature out of their meeting room, as finds out…

1957 vintage Rolls-Royce

Parked outside a business centre in London is a 1957 vintage Rolls-Royce. Beautifully maintained, spotlessly clean and with gleaming chrome fittings, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this shining example of automotive heritage is kept as a museum piece, just for show.

But there is more to this classic car than meets the eye. Step inside and you’ll find that the vehicle’s interiors have been taken out, and replaced with comfortable seats and shag pile carpets. Take a laptop along and you’ll get instant broadband connection too.

Far from becoming just another collector’s item, the Rolls provides a much more practical service. Its sole purpose today is to provide meeting facilities for business people who rent serviced office space from the centre – a quiet and secluded space that’s perfect for making confidential phone calls, meeting clients, or simply for working in an uninterrupted environment.

What’s more, this unique space comes with a low-cost, energy efficient ventilation system – a convertible roof, which opens fully in summer and is perfect for letting in a little cool air during warm sunny days.

Aside from being a unique and novel meeting place, the vehicle also provides valuable space for the business centre. Occupying a prime location in London, just three miles from the West End, has many benefits – but there is also the issue of limited space. The Rolls provides a practical solution to this problem without the need to build extensions onto the business centre property.


Managing Director of the business centre, Ben Noakes, says that tenants refer affectionately to the classic car as ‘Parker’, which is short for the Cockney rhyming slang term for Rolls, ‘Camilla Parker-Bowles’.

“The Rolls makes a snug meeting room,” he says, “and it tends to catch visitors off-guard. It’s always fun to see the look on their faces when they see it!”

He also reveals that the number plate of the vehicle – ‘ST 1’ – is another classic in itself, having been used as Simon Templar’s number plate in the 60’s cult TV series, ‘The Saint’.

Past and present

Vintage car-turned-meeting-room aside, the business centre maintains a nod to other historical gems. Once a Victorian piano factory, the building itself is located in a picturesque mews on Primrose Hill. The building has been recently refurbished, adding all the necessary mod-cons to the property, whilst still maintaining its original character and period features.

Interior of the business centre, which has been refurbished to a high standard.

Today, tenants find a very high standard of maintenance and business facilities, with a mixture of self-contained offices and open-plan desks. Based on serviced office terms, the business centre offers flexible agreements, where tenants can sign up for one desk upwards.

The business centre offers all the necessary services and facilities within the monthly cost, including broadband, unlimited use of meeting rooms, a full-time receptionist, electricity, business rates, service charges and 24hour security. They even throw in unlimited tea, coffee and biscuits.

Celebrity status

Aside from a unique meeting room solution and a famous vehicle number plate, the business centre has another claim to fame – that of its tenants, past and present.

Among those who have taken office space at Primrose Hill are the philosopher Alain de Botton, Robbie Williams’ producer Guy Chambers, and the late Jade Goody. Visitors to the offices also include Sir Paul McCartney and the Prince of Wales.

Today, Managing Director Ben Noakes finds that tenants are unanimously happy with their working environment at Primrose Hill.

He says, “One of my tenants recently said to me, ‘I had to phone my bank manager this morning to ask for an extension on my overdraft, but you can’t feel too fed-up when you’re calling from the back of a Rolls!'”

Some of the comments Noakes has received since the business centre’s inception in 1998 include “the only office I’ve actually liked going into”, “a great atmosphere”, and “you’ve created a great environment, both physically and personally – I will recommend you to anyone I talk to”.

One tenant also commented that the offices “and its amazing group of people are one of the best and most important experience of my life in London. The legacy is enormous. Thanks for what you have created.”

Further information

Office space consultants work closely with Ben Noakes and the team at Primrose Hill. If you’re interested in finding out more about office space at this business centre, visit our dedicated web page for more details on serviced offices in Primrose Hill, London.

Alternatively, to find out more and to secure office space at Primrose Hill, speak directly to our London consultants for free help and advice.

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Author: | September 10, 2009 | 0 Comments

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