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BuckleyGrayYeoman plans Clerkenwell gallery-meets-office

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AJ100 practice BuckleyGrayYeoman has submitted plans to convert a former printworks and gin distillery in London’s Clerkenwell into a new ‘art-led creative hub’

Backed by General Projects and Northern & Midland Holdings, the part office, part gallery Laser House scheme will see a 1960s building at 132-140 Goswell Road ‘dramatically reimagined’.

Once complete the 7,250m² of ‘creative workspace’ space will be able to accommodate more than 800 workers.

If approved the scheme is expected to start on site at the end of this year and complete in 2019.

The architect’s view

The striking new Art House gallery space will be built on an area of land between the two existing buildings. In addition to providing a flexible public space for exhibitions, events and other community activities, the Art House will help to stitch the two existing blocks together and will create a strong focal point and clear entrance to the development. The gallery space will restore the animation, vitality and public use of this important corner, which had been occupied by a public house until the 1960s.

The two-storey gallery will be a box of polished precast concrete panels that appears to float above the new entrance

The two-storey Art House will take the form of a box of polished precast concrete panels that appears to float above the new entrance space, rising 11m in height. The polished concrete panels will be complemented by the new lift core’s red glazed ceramic ribbed tiles. The space itself will comprise three distinct areas: an open lower gallery at ground floor level with exhibition space and entrance lobby; a double height gallery and community space in the middle; and a garden space on the roof. The open space beneath the Art House will double as the building entrance as well as a publicly accessible foyer.

Each of the existing blocks on Pear Tree Street and Goswell Road will be extended to a height of five storeys and comprehensively refurbished to create high quality modern workspace. The perimeter of the development will be refurbished to activate the base of the scheme and increase street level interaction.

The existing loading bays fronting Pear Tree Street will be converted into modern commercial office space with new full-height glazed shopfronts added. The ground and lower-ground floors facing onto Goswell Road will be transformed into a flexible commercial unit of 6,350 sq ft [590m²]. The existing façade will be retained and refurbished with the ground-floor window openings to be lowered to street level to provide full-height glazing and allow for natural light to penetrate the lower-ground floor levels.

Laser house 6 buckleygrayyeoman

 

Project data

Location Clerkenwell
Type of project Office / Mixed use (flexible unit to Goswell Road and ‘Art House’ above new entrance at the junction of Goswell Road and Pear Tree Street)
Client General Projects and Northern & Midland Holdings
Architect BuckleyGrayYeoman
Planning consultant Powerhaus Consultancy
Structural engineer Heyne Tillett Steel
M&E consultant Champan BDSP
Quantity surveyor Quartz Project Services
Start on site date end of 2017
Completion date by 2019
Contract duration 18 months
Gross internal floor area – approx. 9,480m²

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Readers' comments (1)

  • '...animation, vitality and public use...' - up to a point, at street level, but the need for windowless gallery space has generated a corner block that brings to mind an electricity substation, and it would be interesting to know what the long gone pub looked like.

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