The project for 21 residential units redevelops the old Electricity Sub Station site at 142-150 Arlington Rd on the corner of Stanmore Place, empty for many years. The scheme in the Camden Town Conservation Area retains and adapts the front and side facades of the building with an entirely new building within; 5 floors inc. a new basement with a new stepped elevation at the rear
The Arlington frontage is the principle elevation with the existing window openings lowered. These openings set the floor to ceiling heights for the new apartments which range from 2.7m to 3.4m. The previously blank facade onto Underhill St. is punctured with deep revealed openings unveiling the layout of the residential units behind. At the rear of the building the existing corner bay has been retained, but the rest of the façade was demolished, replaced by a new stepped plan and section which creates amenity space for the units and provides an active frontage onto what was an underused and neglected area. The setbacks which bring light into the deep plan are expressed in a white wire cut brick which are mitred to the rear facade with rough London Stock bricks. Floor to ceiling glazing forms glass to glass corners on the 2nd floor with varied windows types
The complex whole is celebrated through an attention to the design from the details joining the old and new and through the array of materials used.
Photographs by Sarah Blee
Studio 54 and the builders Fullers have worked successfully together on a number of projects: e.g. Highbury Terrace Mews, 58A Elfort Rd. The collaboration has resulted in a mutual respect and a shared enjoyment of the craft of construction. When Fullers acquired a dilapidated corner shop with a small flat above, immediately opposite the historic home of the firm in Walthamstow Village, William Fuller asked Studio 54 to look at the opportunities for expanding and converting the building.
Walthamstow Village is a charming area of terraced houses and small businesses ranged along a network of narrow streets. 70 Beulah Rd sits within the Orford Rd Conservation Area on the south west corner of Beulah Road and Grosvenor Rise East and is at the end of a row of Victorian ‘model cottages’ built on a former church common in around 1850. The setting includes a fine street tree. The building was set back from the property boundary on Grosvenor Rise East by approximately 1.8 metres and stepped down going west.
The entrance to the upper floors is set back from the front elevation by approximately 3.5 metres. The front parapet mouldings, sash windows and panel door and windows were traditional, but in a very poor state of repair. The private space in front and to the side of the property was unfenced. The neighbouring house (no. 72) has been converted into residential use and the shop front has been replaced.
Most of the new works proposed was on the corner and at the rear and north side of the property with the front facade being refurbished. The existing internal arrangement at both ground and first floor was cramped and the first floor flat in particular was completely inadequate. The principal design objectives were to extend the building footprint north towards the street up to the site boundary and to build up towards the rear of the site. This would give the opportunity to create better relationship to the street, more usable space at the ground floor and a good sized 2 bedroom flat on the first floor.
The planning authority was nervous of anything that deviated stylistically from the established pattern of development within the Conservation Area and there were extensive discussions with Planning Officers about an appropriate design response. The shared ambition was to improve the quality of the historic building while introducing a contemporary, but contextual design for the new build elements. It was agreed that the corner building should be extended and rebuilt to match the original building and this has been done immaculately. The extension along the north and west elevations is simple and precisely designed and beautifully crafted.
Photographs 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.
New House on Elfort Rd.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.