KML has been shopping for a new headquarters for some time now. When founder and CEO Daniel Kennedy finally settled on this stunning property on City Rd. Edgbaston, he was conscious to provide a space that could serve as an HQ, but also as an incubator for startups in the city.
The interior design language here is inspired by Joseph Gillott, the famous steel pen manufacturer and philanthropist who built the Victoria Works in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in the 1840s. The wider context of this, is that the Gillott Estate (which spans the area between City Road and Hagley Road) was built in response to the wave of social mobility at the time, and the rise of the middle classes. If you look closely at the local period architecture, it encompasses everything from workers houses (for the once thriving M&B brewery), townhouses for the management classes and a few, tucked away, sizeable detached residences for those with new found industrial wealth.
Respecting the brief, we decided to uncover all the original, traditional Minton tiles, and lean in with patterned wallpaper and wood-paneling with accents picked out from the tiles themselves. To add an element of class, we added brass fixings, and brought the electrics up to date (but with reverence) with sockets, switches and lights from the design-focused, industrial-inspired brand, Buster & Punch.
The Joseph Gillott theme is tastefully continued throughout, with murals, prints and old photography of Birmingham (in antique frames no less) – but set to an elegant backdrop of Wallpaper by Pierre Frey, reinstated ornate coving and bespoke desks. Floor tiles were provided by Solus, and wooden floors were supplied by Havwoods.