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The extension and remodelling of a run-down Victorian building to create an elegant and balanced development of six flats and two retail units in Leather Lane, Clerkenwell.
Shortlisted for the AJ Retrofit Awards 2016, this design was conceived as a synthesis of the original elements of the building and new insertions or additions. The clear articulation of the new and the highlighting of original features such as brickwork, ironwork and roofscapes sets up a journey of discovery through the building, as well as creating interesting and varied spaces that are unique to this building.
Internally, the new core with its colourful steel stair is set against the exposed brickwork of the now internalised original rear façade, and the cast-iron column it wraps around. The new stair core and original rear façade are also expressed and contrasted within each of the flats through the use of unpainted DuraFinish plasterwork on the core and bare brickwork and articulated openings on the façade.
The original structural elements, such as the brickwork of the rear façade and party walls and the original roof form, are also contrasted with new structural elements such as the timber joists and steelwork. Equal weight is given to both, but a clear distinction is created between old and new.
The building has been substantially increased in size through a 4 storey curved render rear extension and an additional storey screened by a continuation of the original front roof slope. This combined with the efficiency gains created by relocating the stair, resulted in a significant uplift in the number of flats from three to six. The efficiency of the internal layouts of the flats were further increased by the use of fire sprinklers, which allowed innovative layouts for the tightly planned units.