Dalston is an area of London characterised by two-and-three storey brick structures originally built to accommodate light manufacturing. Following the demise of industrial activity towards the end of the 20th century, these structures were abandoned and subsequently taken over by artists for studio space. More recently, rising land costs have seen many of these artists forced to leave and the original buildings razed to make way for residential redevelopment.
This project both continues and subverts this cycle of urban development. The original artists who occupied the site for the last ten years, have elected to remain in the area and redevelop their existing building in order to create three new apartments over three floors.
Access is arranged around a common stair adjacent to a small light court that provides daylight to the rear of the site. The apartments share common cores and service risers, but individual layouts vary according to the needs of each owner.
The facade of the original one-storey structure is mirrored vertically. This defines the overall volume of the new building, creating the appearance of a two-storey structure while continuing the scale of the original streetscape.
The variations between the three new floor levels, and the facade’s two-storey configuration of windowsills and heads creates surprising relationships between the inside and outside – almost in the manner of a ruin – while screening the interior from neighbours.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Status: Completed 2015
Photography: Maris Mezulis