Architect(s) : GROUPWORK
Address : 167-169 Farringdon Rd, Farringdon, LONDON, United Kingdom
Latitude/Longitude : 51.524444,-0.110016
Photographs : Nick Guttridge
Located within the Rosebery Avenue Conservation Area, the building is positioned within a series of confident Grade II, listed 19th Century warehouses and offices. The vigorous qualities of this existing Victorian and Edwardian fabric are complimented by the simplicity of form of the new building, whilst the hard trafficked and aggressive street environment is reflected by the robust materiality adopted in the design.
The exterior is characterised by clarity of detail, with the solidity of the envelope progressively broken down and peeled back to reveal the inhabited spaces. A Cor-Ten steel rainscreen is utilised for the street facades with setback aluminium framed glazing to the living areas. Over time, the Cor-Ten steel will take on a rich patina and the whole facade will develop in tone and texture, describing the exigencies of the site. This weathering will further suggest an empathetic relationship between the building and its neighbours. Internally, the language is of stripped down semi-industrial materials, with exposed concrete and plaster finishes to the walls and ceilings and hardwearing epoxy to floor surfaces.
By redeveloping the existing building the scheme takes advantage of an under utilised site in an inner city location with excellent transport links. The commercial element, an Italian delicatessen that has been trading on the site for over a hundred years, has been maintained and a residential element added which provides ten, two bed units. This residential aspect means that the diversity of the immediate area is enhanced and the development is in line with current thinking that promotes housing on inner city urban sites and increases housing density generally.
Since completion, the building has won a number of awards including an RIBA regional award and the AJ/Robin Ellis First Building Prize. It has also been featured in numerous journals, exhibitions and architectural guidebooks to London.