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Shoreditch terrace revamp illuminates 850-year site history

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Architect Mackenzie Wheeler has included a steel screen detailing all the known occupants of a site in east London as part of the refurbishment and expansion of a 19th Century terrace

Its project at 3-7 Redchurch Street in Shoreditch, has added new residential storeys, shops, basements and a perforated corten steel feature listing past owners, residents, and uses of the site since 1158.

The £1.6 million scheme for Maidan Properties and BOMA saw the refurbishment of Nos 5-7 Redchurch Street, with two-storey extensions at third and fourth-storey levels. Just the facade of No 3 was retained, with the original two storeys expanded into a new four-storey building.

The front of No 3 features a large splayed projecting bay window to the upper floors that allows views from the accommodation to the east and west, while also allowing the morning and evening sun to penetrate.

Project architect Rupert Wheeler said the screen was laser-cut with a text that naming every owner, occupier and use of the site throughout recorded history, dating back to when it was part of the Priory of St. John the Baptist in 1158.

‘The screen masks the junction between the old and new elements of the building, creating a continuity of building form, and provides a link with the history of the site in an area where so much of the history is being lost beneath the rampant redevelopment of Shoreditch,’ he said.

‘The very specific nature of the information recorded on the screen ensures that the building could be nowhere else in the world, in London, or even in Redchurch Street.

‘One of the joys of the screen is the way it plays with the sunlight that the projecting bay window captures at the beginning and the end of each day. The history of the site is both projected and reflected onto the facade and into the interiors, and even bounced back off the glazing onto the inside face of the screen, to create an ever changing and dynamic visual effect that both entertains and informs.’

Project data:

Architects: Mackenzie Wheeler Architects and Designers
Location:   Shoreditch, London
Type Of Project: Private residential, new build
Structural Engineers: Waldeck Consulting
Project Architect: Rupert Wheeler
Design Team: Sancho Araujo
Client: Maidan Properties, BOMA
Funding: Private funds.
Tender date: October, 2012
Start on site date: March, 2013
Contract duration: 9 months
Gross internal floor area: 278m² + 270m² [total 550m²]
Form of contract and/or procurement: JCT 2011, Traditional
Total cost: £1.6million
M&E consultant: Wallace Whittle
Quantity surveyor: Rex Proctor and Partners
Planning supervisor: Michael Garvey, London Borough of Hackney Council
Lighting consultant: Wallace Whittle
Main contractor: Thomas Sinden
Selected subcontractors and suppliers: Kitchens – The Dovetail Joint Co. Corteen Steel – Redhouse Forge

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