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Edgley creates aluminium studio and rubber-clad house in Hackney

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Edgley Design has built this artists’ studio and two-bedroom house on the site of a former workshop in Hackney, east London

The 74m² studio has been conceived as a ‘simple shed with exposed aluminium sandwich cladding panels’ sitting next to a 129m² black-rubber clad house.

Both the new buildings fit within the 164m² footprint of the original ‘poorly built’ workshops.

Edgley Design's 50 Amhurst Road, Hackney - house

Source: Joel Knight

Edgley Design’s 50 Amhurst Road, Hackney - house. Image by Joel Knight

The architect’s view

The owners had owned and worked at the Amhurst Road site for over a decade and wanted to modernise the buildings. However, they wanted to retain the principles of the existing buildings, to create a new and sustainable small community. The proposal was to knock down the existing studio, and rebuild an artist’s studio with better facilities, as well as a separate two bedroom house all within the same footprint.  

The concept for the studio is for a shiny metal box, as a domesticated re-interpretation of an industrial shed.  The industrial material reflects the working nature of the studio, while this is offset by minimal detailing to give the shell a domestic quality and scale

The main volume of the house is articulated as a black rubber clad box, tactile and seamless, in sharp contrast to the rambling greenery of the surrounding sites.  A wall wraps around this as a separate element, forming rooflights to the hall and stair.  Planting in front of this wall will give the appearance of a ’green wall’ almost entirely hiding the house from the view of neighbours.

The concept for the house is for a series of internalised experiences, that create a private retreat from the bustle of its Hackney Central location. There are few windows, and most daylight and sunlight is received from roof lights and the internal courtyard. This creates an introspective house giving complete privacy for the inhabitants, and preventing any overlooking to neighbouring properties.

Edgley Design's| 50 Amhurst Road, Hackney - artist studio building - view from courtyard

Source: Joel Knight

View from courtyard. Image by Joel Knight

The few windows which are proposed are carefully orientated to avoid overlooking any neighbours, while making the most of some of the wonderful views out from the site.

A low sheltered terrace between the two buildings functions as a secondary living space to the residential unit at ground floor, while providing a visual break between the two buildings when viewed externally

Security is an issue for the site as it is hidden from view, and accessed only by an alleyway.  To address this the building has no windows on the ground floor, and the only access at ground level is by the front door to each property.

The former workshop almost filled the site, and had no private exterior space. The new scheme allows the site to breath by incorporating private external space.

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