IBLA have remodelled and repurposed a group of run-down Victorian buildings to change an office into an elegant development of 6 flats. The building began as three separate Victorian properties. The first, fronting onto Studland Street, was a three storey shop with a flat above. The second was a narrow 3 storey house and the third a long thin two storey commercial mews building fronting on to Felgate Mews.
Project Name: Imaginative retrofit on Studland Street
Studio Name: Inglis Badrashi Loddo
Location: London, United Kingdom
Photography: David Grandorge
It had been subject to various unsympathetic alterations and additions over the years including a major renovation in the 1980’s to convert the building into a single office. At this point a poor quality mansard roof was added to the mews building and the rest of the building was gutted, removing of covering up any trace of the original plan or interior details. The different floor heights of the original buildings and the long thin plan resulted in a maze of stairs and corridors. These combined changes along with poor maintenance resulted in the building becoming an eyesore and a negative contributor to the streetscape.
Our proposal was to reinstate the basic structure of the original three buildings by introducing a new stair core at the junction of the frontage buildings and the mews building. Through careful design this stair, conceived as a contemporary insertion in the original fabric, bridged the differing floor levels between the front and back of the site with a single flat to each side, minimising the circulation space and maximising the size of the flats. The innovative use of a fire sprinkler system overcame the problem of a long thin site, by allowing the living spaces to use the full depth of the building without the need for protective corridors.
Where possible found elements of the building were reused and synthesised with the new fabric with each given equal emphasis. For instance the 1980’s gang-nail timber trusses to mews mansard were retained and exposed with alternative members removed. The remaining trusses were then strengthened using lateral tie beams, which were designed to double as lighting troughs. A further example is an old tile finish to the original party wall between the house and the shop, which was discovered during the strip out. This was cleaned and retained as a separating screen between the living and kitchen areas in flat 5.