This 255m2 new home for the designers who own and work out of the original, three storey Victorian warehouse building below, was devised as a prefabricated, two storey, roof extension, to keep the budget down and avoid disruption to their design business and the neighbouring properties.
The project uses a robust architectural language which is site specific and responds to the industrial character of the original building in a way that respects the existing without attempting to copy it.
The architectural language consists of an externally expressed, load bearing, planed larch glulam frame with an infill of sawn horizontal weatherboarding. The timber columns are set out on the grid of the existing window openings below to form a visual link between new and old.
Between the frame members the external walls are lightweight, super-insulated panels, reflecting the limited loadings that could be supported on the original nominal foundations.
Openings on the north elevation were minimised to reduce heat loss and overlooking of adjacent properties, while those on the south and east elevations were increased to maximise sunlight and solar gain and exploit the views.
An open plan top floor accommodates the main living spaces, which at the eastern end open out into a planted loggia structure, while the floor below contains two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a studio and a utility room.
The new building is finished in a matt black preservative stain and can be accessed either through the design studios below or via a new dedicated lift on the rear of the building. This ensures that the new accommodation is fully accessible to the disabled.