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The reuse of existing building stock is often dismissed too quickly. Our disposable culture is reected in attitudes toward old buildings - they do not meet today's aspirations. Yet reworking existing buildings can result in massive savings on environmental impacts. In a rural setting, the romance of a barn conversion makes it easy to compromise and work with the existing structure, though the principle is not so easy to sell in a gritty London street with a very tired-looking 1960s building. In Kirby Street, Hatton Garden, central London, the practice designed its way out of poor floor-to-ceiling heights and large dark areas with no natural daylight, avoiding a rebuild, maximising the opportunities for development, and selling the compromises that were required.

The building achieved a blue-chip tenant (with an international reputation for design) on a pre-let.

Good design ensured the project was profitable, enabling everyone to embrace the environmental issues and feel better for doing so.

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