Conspicuous to anybody motoring over the Hammersmith Flyover, the Ark, unoccupied for nearly a decade since Seagram split up and moved out in 2000, has finally secured a new tenant. US firm Open TV have leased the top floor of the nine-storey building, which has struggled to attract tenants since completion in 1992. This Londonista used to work in the Ark, and can report that it was a curious but memorable environment: for all the building's faux-nautical charm on the outside, and the dense, Escher-like warren of walkways, ramps, nooks and crannies that made the interior unpredictably enjoyable, the building's location, washed up in an insalubrious corner of Glamoursmith and battered by vibrations from traffic and nearby tube lines, was not a good choice. A £20 million refurb in 2007 stripped out many of the original features, in the hopes of making it more palatable for business: whether more companies are willing to fill the more than 7,000 square feet of empty space remains to be seen.
Last Updated 30 July 2009