A perfect match on Design for Me… for a warehouse apartment renovation in Wapping, East London
Jonny (the client) posted his project to Design for Me, looking for a talented architect. After registering his project with just a few key details, we matched him with the best candidates and he received interest from a number of architects.
“I came across the Design for Me website just from Google, but it was exactly what I was looking for as I had no idea where to start in my search for architects.”
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Jonny’s project description
I have recently exchanged on a 552 square foot studio flat in Wapping.
I am looking to completely redesign the flat to give it a more industrial/warehouse feel, mainly by exposing the brick and concrete work. Also, as this is currently a large studio flat, I am looking to build a bedroom in, which is where I will need someone with joinery experience to design it.
There will be no structural work but some walls will need to be removed or rebuilt. I have nothing really in mind which is set in stone so I am very open for your ideas. My main concern is fitting the right bedroom space.
The warehouse was originally converted in the 1980s and the flat was not only tired but also converted in a style more appropriate to a 1980s provincial semi-detached house than a London warehouse conversion.
– Jonny (client)
Through Design for Me, the client narrowed down his search and ultimately found the perfect fit for their project in Ben and Eoin.
We chose Ben and Eoin as they appeared to have a good understanding of the mediums we wished to concentrate on (brick/concrete/wood) and this certainly proved to be the case. Ben and Eoin held our hand throughout the process and planned the complete transformation of the flat into an urban one bed apartment fit for the 21st century.
You can see Ben and Eoin’s profile below and shortlist them for your home building or renovation project:
The result: Studio³
Ben and Eoin on the design:
Photography by Nicholas Worley
The original building this studio is within forms part of a Grade II Listed warehouse complex constructed in the 1920s that has become known as Gun Wharf. The building was converted to residential use in the 1980s and resulted in around 70 flats of different sizes and configurations; in doing so the original walls, floors and ceilings were covered and lined with plasterboard, skirtings and covings making each space uniform and marketable but essentially hiding all the original character.
The studio was tired, dated and badly organised. Our client is a single person interested in the area due to the proximity of the city, where they work. They also enjoyed the open plan nature of the studio. However, they wished for more privacy and separation of the bedroom space, which was originally part of and almost within the kitchen, without making the space feel cramped and tight. This was a key part of the clients brief, along with wanting something timeless and more reflective of the character of the original building.
Our approach was to first strip away the unnecessary and dated internal linings, finishes and fittings to reveal the industrial beauty of the robust and raw warehouse finishes. This had the added benefit of reclaiming some floor to ceiling height and width that had been lost with the build-ups for the linings. Once these were removed, a beautiful concrete soffit and structural frame was exposed along with solid brickwork perimeter walls. The concrete beams and columns clearly subdivided the space into three distinct zones from front to back. The property is single aspect, facing north-east, and as such the valuable natural light dictated the arrangement within these zones. Living and dining required to be closest to the windows at the front to benefit directly from daylight whilst the bathroom, services and storage were positioned within the darkest part of the plan, at the rear upon entry. A birch ply clad ‘cube’ acts as a mediator between front and back, sitting centrally and forming the dedicated bedroom the client required. The generous kitchen becomes a means of circulating from front to back around the cube, meaning no space is lost to corridors.
The cube works hard to maintain the open-plan nature of the space by being as efficient and functional as possible – housing both kitchen appliances and bedroom storage. The face of the cube adjacent to the living/dining space is adaptable depending on the function – when in the living/dining space and entertaining the face can be open and the space expansive but when privacy is required it can be closed off and separated.
The original industrial context of this listed warehouse building is celebrated – brickwork and concrete are experienced and are untouched throughout. The birch ply cube introduces a warmer material into this palette which is held in place between concrete downstand beams that link each space laterally.
We very much appreciated their friendly approach and the assistance given all along the way (including that of finding a quality builder who was able to deliver on ‘the vision’ at a reasonable price). We are extremely happy with the final result and would certainly recommend Ben and Eoin on any urban projects.
The project build came to around £80k, but I might have been able to get closer to £60k if I compromised on a lot of the type of materials and went for a pre-fab kitchen.
Mark (Jonny’s Dad):
I assisted my son with this project and it will soon be time to help my daughter, and I have consequently started to look round on Rightmove… Adding the cost of the Wapping flat and the total cost of the renovation from soup to nuts there is nothing I can find (for the money) that looks anywhere near so good as this refurbed flat. Thanks Ben and Eoin for coming up with the design and holding my son Jonny’s hand throughout the process to make his basic vision a reality. This project has been a real pleasure to be involved with.
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