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FIRST LOOK

Knox Bhavan converts former stationery shop into ‘tardis-like’ studio

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Office, meeting and workshop spaces have been squeezed into the deceptively large site in south London

This former shop and warehouse in Peckham has been designed as both a home and a showcase for the work of Knox Bhavan’s small studio, built entirely by the practice.

The front facade features a concrete picture frame ‘shop window’ underneath a thin canopy to give a view into what the studio describes as a ‘tardis-like’ interior. Behind this window a small hall gives views down into the basement and up to a mezzanine meeting room.

4 Garden Pond into Office

4 Garden Pond into Office

A small glass bridge acts as a threshold, leading to an entrance space and the main office beyond, with a garden at the rear sitting on the other side of a fish pond, which has moved with the firm from their previous office. A small cantilevered, mirrored brise soleil reflects light and movement from this pond back into the office space, which is also lit by two skylights.

Led by a strong belief that the workplace directly effects mental health and wellbeing, the office is focused around a central 7.5m oak worktable with 12 workstations, with the desk units designed by the practice to accommodate both sitting and standing.

Mezzanine jpg

Mezzanine jpg

Source: KnoxBhavan

Mezzanine floor construction

The meeting room above is lined with pitch pine boards salvaged from the former stationery shop, and a small aperture gives a visual link with the office below. The mezzanine is constructed with an ultra-thin floor supported by 36 x 115mm ply rubs laid out in a concentric square arrangement with steel flats bolted to their underside.

The excavated basement provides space for a kitchen, a flexible presentation or lunch space, storage and a model-making workshop. 

Project data

Start on site July 2015
Completion April 2017
Site size 148m²
Procurement Self-build 
Construction cost £300,000
Architect Knox Bhavan Architects
Main contractor Direct labour, site managed by Knox Bhavan
Structural engineer Price & Myers
CDM co-ordinator Knox Bhavan Architects
Energy consultant Paul Bastick Associates
Approved inspector Southwark Building Control
Services engineer Paul Bastick Associates
M&E consultant Paul Bastick Associates
CAD software Vectorworks

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Simply brilliant. In the early noughties we struggled (or certainly the Planners did) with the concept of ‘Live Work’. Well, I think ‘Work Live’ is here to stay, and if only as a model for design practices, so what. Active streets an obvious consequence. Well done Knox Bahaven

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