YouTube recreates Del Boy’s flat in Covent Garden office space


As the world’s largest video-sharing site, it’s no surprise that YouTube is obsessed with all things video – from the box in the front room to celluloid on the silver screen. In fact, YouTube loves film and TV so much, it’s turned its new Covent Garden office space into a working tribute to some of the UK’s best-loved characters from the big and small screen.

Designed by renowned London architects, Penson, YouTube’s London office space even features a painstaking recreation of Del Boy’s living room, from the classic BBC One sitcom, Only Fools and Horses.

Employees will be able to pour themselves a drink from behind the cheap plastic bar, sit in a chair like the one graced by Uncle Albert, and re-enact their favourite scenes from the programme. No detail has been spared. Right down to the drab, yellow, 70’s-style wallpaper, and the porcelain ornaments that line the bar, these small details help give the space an air of authenticity – unlike many of Del Boy’s dodgy products.

Situated on one floor of the Renzo Piano-designed Central St Giles House, YouTube made its design intentions clear – it wanted a quirky space right from the start.

Penson interior designer, Lucy Goddard, told Design Week that the brief requested a space with “a back of stage look with some cool detailing and a film-set look and feel.”

With this office redesign, YouTube has followed in the footsteps of its owner Google  – which also had its office space at the building redesigned by Penson earlier in the year. Google’s office is also very kooky, with outdoor workspaces set in ‘secret gardens,’ padded meeting rooms featuring air-lock doors – a Penson design staple – and communal areas that resemble living rooms from various eras in time.

Amongst the other highlights on YouTube’s floor are the hi-tech Walk of Fame and an incredibly inviting creator’s space. Dedicated to displaying content chosen by YouTube, the Walk of Fame shows video on big screens dotted around a room lined with padded walls and featuring huge sofas.  The Creator Space serves a more practical purpose and contains a green room, two large areas for filming and a number of editing suites.

Although it would be easy to assume that it’s all fun and games at the YouTube offices, the space does feature meeting spaces and a reception; however, even these boast the playful spark that has become a signature of Penson designs.

News bought to you from DeVono Cresa, the award-winning commercial property advisers, specialising in Central London office, retail and leisure space.