Cordial offices hit the right note

ARCHITECT Nick McMahon of London practice McMahon and Curtis plays the guitar “badly,” he says, but maybe he’s just being modest.

McMahon’s fascination with music has led him to compose a building. Park House in Teddington is a 1962 office block which needed extensive refurbishment – and McMahon didn’t quaver.

“The façade was generated by extracting the components of music, its rhythm and timing; music gave me an intellectual basis for designing it,” he says.

This means that windows and external rendering look like they are randomly placed, but if you look hard, you can see the structure is like a bar of music. “Unless you approach a project creatively, you just regurgitate your last piece of work,” says McMahon.

Musical paintings by Barbara Freeman complement the building’s design. She’s created two- dimensional versions of pieces of music which grace the entrance lobby. And fortunately they don’t tinkle extracts at you when you go past the building.

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