Curtain Rd

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Location: Shoreditch, London

Client: Vitcorp

Project Year: 2013

Cost: Over £2m

This is a workplace development generating 16,500sqft of retail and work space located at 141-145 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, East London. The project is located within a conservation area defined by Georgian brick buildings and requiring retention of the existing urban block.

The building prior to development was four storeys (G, B+2) in height and is fully remodelled behind a retained brick façade. Above this, three new floors of contemporary office space are added, extending the building to 7 storeys in total, almost doubling the usable area.

The building plot sits within a dense urban block of Georgian properties both commercial and domestic in scale of various widths and heights resulting in a ‘chipped tooth’ silhouette fronting onto the street. Each building block has an individual order of floor plates and windows. The unified whole is therefore characterised by a sequence of window rhythms consolidated by brickwork which stitches the entire urban block into one chunk. The local conservation authority were keen to preserve the block in its entirety and therefore in spite of the low grade historic value of the individual plot and the complexity to retain the facade for high end commercial use, the facade had to be retained for the development to be viable.

In order to maintain a reading of the building as a whole the colour palette is carefully calibrated to respond to the masonry tones from grey concrete mortar to mid brown bricks. The reflectance of the materials increases as you ascend to sky and the textural quality of each material selected is emphasised by various means.

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