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Amin Taha completes first phase of Hoxton overhaul

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Amin Taha Architects has completed the £200,000 first phase of its overhaul of a 19th Century brick building in Hoxton, east London

The scheme for pension fund CPT has revamped the main entrance, first and second floors of the four-storey corner block in Phipp Street.

All the existing suspended ceilings, raised floors and wall linings were ripped out to reveal the building’s original structural materials of brick, cast iron and timber.

A pair of oak staircases was added, one connecting all the floors and the other as an additional link between the first and second levels.

A £460,000 second phase will renovate the ground and basement floors of the former warehouse which has recently been used an office. A £450,000 lantern-like roof extension will complete the scheme.

Phipp Street [phase 1], Hoxton, London by Amin Taha Architects (2014)

Phipp Street [phase 1], Hoxton, London by Amin Taha Architects (2014)

The architect’s view

[The Phipp Street building] had met changing regulation and use requirements over its history with multiple layers of plasterboard, partitions, suspended floors and ceilings gradually covering the original structural materials of brick, cast iron and timber. Further building and fire regulations prescribed yet more smoke lobbies and partitions diminishing practical and usable area and the building’s inherent ‘open’ spatial character and material qualities through two bronze portals with pivoting security screens and glazed doors and integrated post boxes and video entry systems. An abstracted ivy patterns was used to laser cut both the security screens and ventilation panels. The ground floor and basement was fitted out for an advertising company with a new waxed mild steel integrated stair and book case and a cantilevered bridge to a suspended glazed conference room. Bespoke oak and mild steel furniture provides desk space, storage utility furniture accommodating kitchens, wc’s and showers.

Our client initially asked us to reconfigure and provide cohesion to these spaces with an approach that offered a consistent palette of materials and detailing throughout. Early and small opening up investigations revealed the original  brickwork, cast iron columns and timber joists to be of good and sound condition. A strategy was agreed to remove all suspended ceilings, raised floors and any later wall linings to express this structure. Working together with an approved Building Control Inspector and a team Structural, Environmental and Fire Engineers new building technologies and engineered solutions were implemented to achieve compliance with building regulations, British and European Standards. Allowing us to entirely open up the original spaces and reveal the inherent architecture while providing our client with a substantial construction cost saving compared to conventional building methods and products.

 At Phipp Street access from the street is via a self-finished hardwood door and original stripped back render surround. The first floor is served by a cantilevering oak lined staircase with a saw-tooth profile expressing its function internally and through the external windows. The common stair is split into two separate forms to highlight their penetration of full width floors plates. The saw tooth profile mirroring the stair within then offers the opportunity of an internal stair between the first and second floors without losing floor area. Working closely with a specialist steel fabricator full height fire rates steel portal framed doors express the threshold between the private and common parts and separate the inserted staircases.

Externally the principle scope involved lightly refurbishing timber windows casements and stone and cast iron mullions and transoms, cleaning  brickwork and resetting the slate tiles roofs and terracotta chimney pots.


Previous story (AJ 21.06.11)

Amin Taha wins planning for flexible flat-cum-office

Amin Taha Architects has won planning permission for this 200m² flexible re-use of an existing brick building in Hoxton, east London

The scheme in Phipp Street has been designed as ‘a family residence, part office or gallery’ which can be continually reconfigured ‘while maintaining vertical scale and visual interconnection’.

Practice founder Amin Taha said: ‘Split floor levels are carried by expressed trusses spanning the existing brick structure.

‘As with our design at Westbourne Grove sheme, ‘furniture boxes’ house utilities and incorporate sliding and pivoting doors and walls that allow the sub-division of space and therefore the determination of use.’

He added: ‘The external envelope is a visually seamless curtain of woven mesh with opening panels onto the terrace and some windows.’

Project data

Architects: Amin Taha Architects
Location: Phipp Street, Hoxton, London
Type Of Project: Residential-Live/Work
Structural Engineers: Webb Yates
Project Architect: Richard Cheesman
Design Team: Richard Cheesman, Dominykas Kacinskas, Holly Hayward, Amin Taha
Client: BMA
Funding: Private
Tender date: January 2012
Start on site date: March 2012
Contract duration: 12 months
Gross internal floor area: 200m²
Form of contract and/or procurement: Traditional
Total cost:  £500,000       
M&e consultant: 
Peter Deer+Asc
Quantity surveyor: Flemming Russel Stent
Planning supervisor: tbc
Annual co2 emissions: tbc

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