london’s ever-evolving urban realm finds its perfect embodiment in the city’s East End, where creative hubs meet neglected warehouses and growing residential neighbourhoods.
Bringing together all the above in one fell swoop, is this transformation of an old building in Hackney into contemporary, loft-style residences, fit for 21st-century living.
Conceived by Chris Dyson Architects for a private owner, the structure – a disused former Victorian cabinetmaking workshop – now houses five modern apartments on the top three floors and commercial space on the ground level. Finely crafted Roman brick facades feature blank recesses indicating the former fenestration in the old building, offering a hint of the memory of the old within the new. While brick features prominently drawing on the existing architecture on site and the surrounding structures, the new construction’s main structural frame is concrete.Accessed through a discreet pathway off the main road, the development offers minimalist living and all mod cons, at the same time referencing its industrial routes through materials, shapes and treatments, resulting in a richly textured and sensitive whole. Inside, Dyson’s attention to detail, from the bespoke fittings to the specially made concrete ceilings, cast using sandblasted Douglas fir, celebrates the site’s heritage.
‘This project is simultaneously contemporary and rooted in the 19th century’, says the architect. ‘The new elevations present a palimpsest of the past with their recessed blind windows, while new generously proportioned Crittall glazed windows frame long views down across the gardens.’