“If you compare the serviced office sector with the hotel industry, it generally provides a three- or four-star service. We offer a five-star service that’s distinctly different.” So says Vincent Wang, chief executive of the fledgeling serviced office operator Nexus Estates.

Wang’s five-star service can be seen in all its glory at No 1 Cornhill, which opened for business last October after a £4.1m conversion. The building is a classic City institution – a late Victorian head office for an insurance firm – and is situated in the heart of the Square Mile facing the Bank of England, Mansion House and the Royal Exchange.

Walk past the reception desk and you find yourself in the former banking hall, a circular double-storey space ringed by marble columns. The hall is now furnished with leather armchairs, sofas and coffee tables for quiet conversations. Tea and coffee is served by staff, just like a classic gentleman’s club. The only difference

is that guests can plug their laptops and mobile phones into sockets discreetly hidden below tables and desks.

“The paradox with new business methods is that you have to be fully connected down the wire, but you have to sit and have congenial conversations, too,” explains Wang.

To one side of the club are five-and-a-half floors of serviced and fully furnished office space, designed in a breezy modern style by architect ORMS. The building also features a conference hall and gymnasium in the basement, as well as a drop-in centre where visitors can carry out business for a few hours. A fifth-floor rotunda beneath the corner dome is immodestly billed by Wang as “the best meeting room in the City”.

Nexus targets foreign financial houses needing a presence in London, and membership of the club is offered separately from the serviced office space.

From Victorian City bank to cyberoffice

Serviced office operator Nexus Estates Serviced office design features Gentleman’s cyberclub created in former grand banking hall Location City of London, facing the Bank of England Conversion team ORMS (architect), Laithwaite and Partners (structural engineer), Flack and Kurtz (services engineer), Davis Langdon & Everest (quantity surveyor), Faithdean (main contractor)