De Beauvoir Block

  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © Nick Kane
  • © David Grandorge
  • © David Grandorge
  • © David Grandorge
  • © David Grandorge

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Commendation

Region

Greater London

Local Authority Area

Hackney

Information about this scheme

De Beauvoir Block is a terrace of two and three storey former industrial brick buildings. New elements take various forms. To the rear, a two-storey three-bay structure completes the southeast corner of the yard. A single storey steel structure supports an upper storey of engineered timber, shaped to make three truncated pyramids sheathed in black EPDM rubber. The upper storey is served by a deck. The façade to the yard glazed. The new rear wall, in effect a new garden wall, is exposed and painted. On the street, the pitched roof of has been removed and a new attic storey added. This takes the form of a colonnade of precast white concrete, the rhythm matching that of the brick piers below. Behind this loggia a full height glazed screen runs the width of the new office space. A yard was carved to create a centric plan, common point of arrival, of convergence and congregation. Around this, the various brick structures are treated as a feature in the wider de Beauvoir landscape - a mesa-top - on which to plan and build a settlement of smaller structures. The existing fabric remains largely intact. The pink hue of the fletton brick walls is repeated in a similarly coloured concrete mat and the brickwork borders to the floor of the yard. The north end of the space is framed by a deck on first and second floors, each bearing on a steel beam, the pair supported by a single central column. Around the perimeter of the yard, new brick piers have been added, lintels repaired and repainted, and new glazed screens introduced. The rooftop settlement is, like the upper storey of the new structure, made with timber. Space is domestic in scale, daylit, and naturally ventilated, distinguished by its toplit attic volume, exposed rafters and plywood linings, each room with a picture window to the city. From within the Block the peaked roofs juxtapose to create a picturesque skyline in between which decks and terraces thread, open to the sky.

Credits

Architect

Henley Halebrown

Client

The Benyon Estate

Quantity Surveyor

Castle-Davis

Services Engineer

AJ Energy

Structural Engineer

MMP Design

Planning Consultant

CMA Planning

Approved Building Control Inspector

Salus AI

Main Contractor

Sullivan Brothers Construction

Primary Use Class

Class B1 - Business