A new single storey 2 bedroom ‘urban cabin’ on a tight corner of Elfort Road: The irregular shaped site slots in-between the end of two terraces: 3 post-war ex council houses on one side and a typical Victorian terrace on the other. The site had previously been used as a car workshop and more recently for car parking.
The house has been deliberately and robustly crafted; the walls are handmade brick, doors and windows are bespoke cedar with cedar cladding internally and externally. Internal joinery helps to maximise the usable space. Exposed sawn timber joists over main areas are painted grey and the ceilings to circulation and service areas are smooth and white. Main light fittings are vintage Danish but the building is naturally lit via a series of large roof lights. The roof is a bio-diverse green roof planted with wild flowers.
The house has been designed to achieve high passive standards of heating, insulation and ventilation and achieves CfSH level 4.
Another urban intervention for the owners of the Coexistence business in Islington, the Canonbury Lane building had an old and deteriorating roof, but the possibility of creating a new floor, hidden behind the existing parapet.
Within the Conservation Area it was deemed important that the new studio should be invisible from the nearby Canonbury Square, but the long views south over Islington towards the City could be enjoyed to the full. A wide terrace sits behind the lowered south facing parapet, the window wall and roof is raked to follow the sight lines from the Square to create a bold asymmetrical dimension to the simple rectangular plan.
York St John University
A competition winning scheme for York St John University. Planning permission was granted in November 2006 after extensive consultation with The City of York Council, English Heritage and local conservation groups. Close to the City Walls and York Minster at the junction of three historic routes, the brownfield site included an isolated pair of derelict Georgian terraced houses. The design responds to the local context in terms of scale, form and materials: local handmade bricks, dark grey panels, fair faced concrete, render and timber.
“In almost any city De Grey Court the latest addition to York St John University would be acknowledged as an impressive, complex and intelligent piece of architecture. In heritage obsessed York, where new buildings of any sort are rare and contemporary architecture of any quality are almost non-existent, the project is truly remarkable.” Peter Kelly editor Blueprint May 2009.
Along the busy road, the boundary is defined by a high deep curved wall with deep facetted window reveals. The wall creates a strong, modulated boundary to the public areas and curves to create the entrance into a new courtyard. Achieving a BREEAM rating of Very Good, the project has won a number of awards including a RIBA Award, York Design Lord Mayor's Award and RIBA White Rose Awards for Design Excellence shortlist. It was also shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival Award in 2009. It is featured in ‘Architecture: Sustainable Concrete’ by David Bennett, RIBA Publishing.
Since the early 1970’s development of their first showroom in Bath, Charles Thomson has had a close and long term working relationship with the contemporary furniture company Coexistence. He has been the architect responsible for the expansion of various sites in London, particularly at their two buildings in Islington: Upper Street/Cross Street and Canonbury Lane. The extent of works includes new offices, showrooms, roof studios, house and garden.
S54 were shortlisted for an architectural competition for a new development of a large site in the centre of the town of Houghton Regis in Bedfordshire. The brief was to create a high quality, mixed use, independent living scheme which would challenge people’s perception of how housing for older people is designed and the way it is procured and managed. Given its location the scheme was also intended to reinvigorate the town centre and positively contribute to the local economy, community and the wider environment.
The site is partly within a conservation area with a single listed building to be retained, it is bounded on the north side by a very busy road, to the east by a historic village green and to the north by remnants of the high street and the ancient village church.
We saw the development as an opportunity to create a new village street linking the church and the green. We planned the northern side of the site as a transitional area between the green and the town centre, having a traditional ‘open character’ with buildings set back from the street.
The new village street provides access to all the new accommodation which has been arranged in a series of ‘mansion blocks’ which in turn define the character of the open spaces. Each elevation is ‘active’ and all the external areas of the site contribute positively to a varied and exciting landscape.
Grahame Park Phase 1
Working with architects Jestico + Whiles and Peter Barber Architects, Studio 54 Architecture has developed the national RIBA competition winning scheme for the first major phase of the redevelopment of the 1970s Grahame Park Estate in Colindale, North London.
The project included the review of the existing masterplan and will provide 500 additional homes, a library, a park, shops and a community centre. It is the start of a 15 year program to create 3000 extra homes in Grahame Park.
The project for 21 residential units involves the development of the old Electricity Sub Station site at 142-150 Arlington Rd on the corner of Stanmore Place which has been empty for many years. The scheme in the Camden Town Conservation Area retains the front and side facades of the building while replacing most of the rear facade and includes a set- back roof extension.
The building has a deep plan and occupies the entire site so getting daylight to the middle of the site and creating amenity space onto the street is difficult. The Arlington frontage is the principle elevation with windows opening onto the original turbine hall. Underhill St has a blank façade and the façade onto the back of the site is lower and windowless. The original architectural style is classically inspired with regularly spaced large brick pilasters, a deep cornice and parapets.
Our architectural approach has been to retain the front and side facades. The new accommodation is built up to the Arlington Road frontage where existing window openings are lowered. At the back of the building onto Stanmore Place, the existing corner bay is retained, but the rest of the façade is demolished, to be replaced by a new stepped plan and section which creates amenity space and an active frontage onto what is currently an underused and neglected area.
Studio 54 submitted a Planning Application on behalf of A2 Dominion for the works in 2013 and was granted Planning Approval on Appeal in July 2014. The scheme started on site in October 2015 and is due to complete in March 2017.
St Johns Grove 02
Studio 54 was chosen for the Peabody Small Projects Panel in February 2014 following a competition which attracted more than 300 entries. This is the proposal for one of 4 brown field sites in Islington.
The backland site currently contains garages, an access road and hard standing and is surrounded by mature trees in a residential area. The proposal is for 5 two bed courtyard houses which respond to the characteristics of the backland site with a landscaped mews and inward facing courtyards, avoiding problems of overlooking into neighbouring properties. The project won the NLA Award for the best unbuilt housing scheme in 2015.
The scheme was submitted for Pre Application comments and has been subject to Public Consultation. A start on site is anticipated in June 2016.