250 year old dungeon “Old sessions house” gets transformed into a luxury members working club!

A 250-year-old London courthouse where prisoners were held in filthy dungeons before being transported via tunnels in chains to boats that would take them to Australia has been turned into a luxurious flexible workspace.

The space, launched by Knotel, is in the heart of London’s Clerkenwell neighbourhood and is just the first of several being planned for the capital and across the UK. Clients across the worlc, where they have hundreds of thousands of sq ft of office space include Uber, Xero and Twillo.

It took only three years to build the courthouse in 1779 and it was used until 1920. It had two large court rooms, dungeons for holding prisoners, and a decadent living space for the judges living in the building. In contrast to the judges’ extremely lavish accommodation, the basement cells were tiny. One of these cells is still there today and is currently used as a linen cupboard.

If you were convicted and punished with ‘Transportation’ you would be marched in chains down a tunnel to Newgate prison, before being placed on a boat to Australia. The tunnel was actually a mixed blessing for felons – there was no chance of escaping the guards, but it at least afforded them some protection from their victims who lurked outside the courthouse waiting to dole out their own brands of punishment.

Huge public galleries would be filled as people watched the judges dispense their justice to the defendants standing before them.

Knotel’s workclub reimagines the shared workspace model by bringing together businesses, teams and innovators in an intentionally curated environment. Mixing the amenities of a modern workplace with iconic spaces and cultural experiences, the workclub will support businesses to foster company culture, attract and retain talent, and host curated on-site events.

Old Sessions House is the first location in an ambitious global pipeline of workclubs embedded in distinctive landmarks. Once the largest courthouse in England, the Grade II-listed Old Sessions House has been beautifully restored to grandeur offering an unparalleled destination to work, innovate, and connect, with Knotel occupying 22,000 square feet of space in the property.

Knotel’s workclub model allows companies and individuals to select from flexible memberships that provide varying levels of access to desk space, meeting rooms, food and beverage amenities, and in-house events. A Knotel Workclub mobile app will make bookings straightforward for members.

“Flexible working is not only here to stay, it has become increasingly valued as businesses look to bring employees back to the office while reducing the overhead inherent with traditional long-term office spaces,” said Michael Gross, CEO of Knotel. “Companies are seeking out inspiring locations with amenitized flexibility in their workspace planning. That’s why we are backing bricks and mortar in London – especially when the bricks are as beautiful as those in the Old Sessions House.”

Gross added, “This is the first launch of a new concept for Knotel in which we will be bringing a remarkable selection of new workclubs to outstanding properties across London and other key European and North American cities.”