‘If Walls Could Talk’: Designing The Ministry

‘If Walls Could Talk’: Designing The Ministry

Opened in 2018, Ministry Venues – Borough may look inconspicuous from the outside, but the inside reveals history and character beneath every layer. Located just around the corner from its sister venue, Ministry Venues – Elephant & Castle, Borough started its history as a Letts diary factory. Now, over 150 years later, it has developed into a prominent and distinctive venue. We sat down with Simon Moore, Creative Director, who, with over two decades of experience, worked at the forefront of the design and infrastructure for Borough.

Before & After – Entrance to The Meeting Room Suite

Before any work even began, it had to be determined what was to be achieved with this new venture. Elephant & Castle, with its 32-year-long history, had already established itself as an iconic and globally recognised venue space because it offered something ‘different’ to the rest of the world. Now, Borough had to do the same in its own way.

‘It was just simple and powerful…We wanted to do things that were very different to everybody else because [Elephant & Castle], when that started out, it was completely unique.”

This is where the concept of ‘Premium Raw’ came into play. Everything was stripped out –the walls, the floors, and the ceilings were all exposed and taken back to their natural state. Rather than doing the same as everyone else and covering up ‘imperfections’, these would then become the character of the spaces. When walking around the venue, you’ll be able to spot gaps, chips, pencil marks, and all sorts on the ceiling above you; all of which were left on purpose.

We then brought in premium Italian furniture made exclusively for the venue. The juxtaposition of premium dressings against a raw building shouldn’t work, but the fact that they are opposites makes their union so harmonious. We have thought through everything within the venue, and we even have our own scent that circulates throughout the building. 

Before & After – The Deli

In The Study, you’ll notice a square cut-out in the wall where a layer of the wall was taken out to look at the structure of the building. Look at the floor on your journey through the venue – you’ll notice the original flooring and how it’s changed through the building’s numerous iterations. Keeping the exposed brick, wood and metal from the 150-year history means there’s warmth and character that you won’t often find in such spaces as meeting rooms.

“All 60 people were new to the building and were absolutely stunned by the vibe, décor and general feel of the building along with the event organisation, staff and AV. It suited us more than any other venue we have used previously in London!” (Scottish Widows)

The Event Space within the building; The White Space; is an empty blank canvas, the floor untouched and exposed, and flooded with natural daylight from the large, dual-aspect industrial windows. Full conference AV equipment has been installed into the space to seamlessly enhance your event.

This level of attention and detail brings the Ministry into its own venue category, providing a unique setting and experience.

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