vPPR have transformed a Shoreditch warehouse into a series of shops and apartments stacked on top of one another.
Shortlisted for RIBA London Awards 2017.
The building has been conceptually orientated along two parallel streets, one containing public activities along Redchurch Street, while the private internal street is quieter and for residents alone, bringing sunlight and air to the deepest parts of the industrial block.
The public facade on Redchurch Street reflects the changing demographic of the area, with the elevation being reconfigured to allow three large shop fronts to open up onto the street. The building’s industrial past is elegantly referenced with a curtain-like steel fascia that mirrors the geometry of the top terrace pergola, while serving the practical purpose of covering retail ventilation units. The private facade is an elongated courtyard lined with trees threading through the back of the building, acting as an internal street and bringing natural light and views to the rear of the shops. Along the back of the development, communal terraces cascade down the building, providing residents with a shared outdoor space. Horizontal and vertical square punches at different scales create a common architectural language.
The traditional warehouse aesthetic has been acknowledged and celebrated within, as sturdy industrial elements exposed in large, open-plan spaces. Freestanding timber boxes are placed inside these large rooms containing the functions of daily life: bathrooms, kitchen and study, allowing the easy flow of space into the bedrooms and living rooms. The approach to contemporary London living offers a range of different spaces using economic materials.
Catherine Pease, Director at vPPR Architects said: “It’s very exciting for us to incorporate commercial elements into one of our housing developments. This kind of mixed-use scheme is key to the success of London’s dense urban landscape. We enjoy our continued exploration into the ways space, light and function all work together within the context of local historical precedents.”
The development on Redchurch Street further demonstrates the vPPR’s skill at adapting rigorous principles to create coherent spaces in a dense urban environment, this time within a commercial context.