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.
Photographed by Sarah Blee.
House in Clapton
The conversion and extension of a 19th Century detached house in Clapton. The house is not listed, but was deemed to be of sufficient historic interest that a proposed upwards extension to match neighbouring houses was ruled out by the Planning Authority.
The Clients wanted to upgrade the house, to rationalise and open up the existing ground floor plan (which had a previously built extension), to create another bedroom and bathroom on the first floor, and to build a new garden studio. The first floor extension at the rear of the existing house for the new bedroom was negotiated as a Planning Application. The garden studio was partly set into the ground to limit the disturbance to the garden boundary and was carried out as a Permitted Development.
The construction of the studio at the end of the garden provided the opportunity to create a courtyard, partially screened from overlooking. Green roofs provide visual interest and add to the local biodiversity. To reinforce the enclosure and coherence of the outdoor space the perimeter of the courtyard has been clad in black stained timber with a paved surface, perimeter planting and two new trees. The new bedroom overlooks the courtyard across a planted roof from the first floor. The ground floor has been opened up to bring views and light into the kitchen and dining room in the middle of the house.
The project was completed in late 2016
Photographed by Sarah Blee
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.
Project completed by Charles Thomson as Director at Rivington Street Studio.
Grahame Park B1
Panavia Court is the latest completed building in the phased regeneration of Grahame Park in Barnet. Studio 54 Architecture, working in collaboration with Jestico and Whiles and Peter Barber Architects won an RIBA managed International competition promoted by Genesis to masterplan the southern area of Grahame Park in 2008. The Competition Brief was to provide 500 new homes together with a new Square, Parks, a library, shops and a community centre, integrating and improving the retained urban fabric.
Panavia Court has been designed to provide a formal street frontage onto the roads with street access to ground floor units and to the apartment cores. All ground floor units have gardens and the upper floor units have generous balconies or terraces. The building is 4 stories rising to 6 stories at each street corner where the facade is articulated with inset and projecting balconies. To avoid overlooking and overshadowing the building is set back from the gardens of Beaumont Court, an existing terrace of two storey houses to the west of the building.
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.
Photographed by Sarah Blee.
S54A were asked to design the upgrading of the ground floor of a large family house in Aberdeen Park in Islington. The existing kitchen was dark and badly planned with an inadequate dining area and no Utility room. The Living room was disconnected from the dining area and the cloakroom was small and badly located. All the main living areas face north and were elevated above a large garden, but took little advantage of the space or the views.
As well as providing extra space, the proposed extension gave the opportunity to get more daylight into the back of the house: a wide picture window facing north, a west facing window, east facing sliding doors and a roof light. The extension also naturally encloses a new patio which has been built at the level of the ground floor of the house, paved in brick and stepped down into the garden.
The extended ground floor includes a new kitchen and a generous dining area overlooking both the garden and the new patio. A new entrance has been formed to improve the link into the dining area and an enlarged entrance from the Living Room onto the patio facing the garden. A new Study, Cloakroom and Utility Room at the front of the house complete the reorganisation of the ground floor plan.
The extension has been designed as two linked volumes which step up from the entrance to the living room. The larger volume is brick and extends the kitchen. The smaller is clad in grey stained timber and sits below the landing window on the axis of the front door (with a tall window providing a long view through the house into the garden). This is a transition space between the courtyard and the dining room.
The project was completed in the early summer of 2017
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.
Turnham Green Terrace Mews
Turnham Green Terrace Mews is a complex of buildings, dating from the early part of the 20th Century, bounded on two sides by gardens to private houses and on the other two sides by the Mews.
The buildings in the mews were in need of refurbishment or renewal. They have been in continuous use since the early 1900’s and repair and maintenance has been haphazard. Our Client wanted to explore the possibility of modernising the mews buildings, retaining those that could be retained together with the large brick boundary walls onto the gardens. The project has involved the retention of two buildings on the West side of the site and the redevelopment of the remainder of the site, creating a new mews which runs North-South providing natural light and ventilation into the site and exposing the East facade of one of the retained buildings (an old organ works). The new development which includes a basement has been planned to provide flexible work space and has been carefully designed to avoid the overlooking of neighbours residential buildings.
The Application went through a pre application stage, followed by the Planning Application and an officer’s recommendation for Approval.
The original Planning Application was granted Approval in December 2012, and the basement received Approval in July 2014. The demolition of the redundant buildings finished in the summer of 2014, and the project started on site in the spring of 2015, completing in October 2016.
Photographed by Sarah Blee.
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.
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.