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Work starts on Sam Jacob’s conversion of Shoreditch pub to home and nursery

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Construction has finally started on Sam Jacob Studio’s plans to redevelop the site of a former pub in Shoreditch, east London, into a family centre and a home 


The practice first won approval for the mixed-use development in Ivy Street within the Hoxton Street conservation area in 2016. But, after the original consent expired, reapplied for permission for an only slightly amended scheme from Hackney Council last year.

The project retains the façade of the Victorian pub originally on the site, creating a 223m² community facility for the Ivy Street Family Centre on the lower two floors with a 210m² apartment for practice founder Sam Jacob above.

The four-storey scheme restores the last remaining piece of what was once a terraced street razed to the ground by bombing during the Second World War.

The plans add a curved extension punctured by diamond-shaped window openings to the end of the surviving block.

Jacob described the design approach as a ’rejection of the kinds of tropes’ that his previous practice FAT had become associated and instead had ’an attitude of plain complexity that is both ordinary and rich’.

Work is expected to complete in August 2021. 


Project data

Location Ivy Street, Hoxton
Local authority Hackney Council
Type of project Mixed-use community centre and residential
Client A joint venture between Sam Jacob and Ivy Street Family Centre
Architect Sam Jacob Studio
Structural engineer Elliott Wood
M&E consultant Mesh
Quantity surveyor Huntley Cartwright
CDM adviser Huntley Cartwright
Tender date November 2019
Start on site May 2020
Completion August 2021
Gross internal floor area Community Centre 223m², residential 210m²

Ivy Street by Sam Jacob Studio

Ivy Street by Sam Jacob Studio

First Floor Plan

Architect’s view

The scheme is neighboured by 10-storey 1970s housing blocks one one side and a Victorian School on the other.

The site is a U-shaped island, formed by a line drawn around the last remaining piece of what was once a terraced street. Long since demolished by bombing and post-war development the remaining land and its context is a microcosm of London’s urban history. 

Drawing on these accidents of history the design resolves contradictions of the site  in expressive yet simple urban gestures forming a new urban object acting as gateway to Hoxton Street. This is emphasised by a new tower that sits at the end of the Ivy Street axis.

The building’s form is derived simply by following the U of the site. Once to the site boundary to form a podium. Once again as a set back above. An external stair winds between the curves between with the steps expressed in the curved wall.  A new arcade to the south elevation becomes the entrance and terrace to the Family Centre. 

Ivy Street by Sam Jacob Studio

Ivy Street by Sam Jacob Studio

[ORIGINAL PLANS] Ivy Street by Sam Jacob Studio - as approved 2016 - model

The building is more solid and opaque to the north, but opens up as the curve creeps southward to take advantage of the buildings freestanding open prospect, for sun and elevated views towards the City.

Higher up, the elevation is punctured by a series of diamond-shaped windows. This Constructivist reference interferes with the design’s close attention to the specifics of place, creating a design language that is a part vernacular, part Modernist, part a consequence of historical accident. 

Designed between 2015 and 2019, the approach was in part a rejection of the kinds of tropes that FAT had become associated with. Instead it has an attitude of plain complexity that is both ordinary and rich at the same time. 

The design approach is in part a rejection of the kinds of tropes that FAT had become associated with

Internally, the family centre retains the generous ceiling height of the old pub through into its new extension, creating a large open and flexible room that opens onto a south facing terrace.

Upstairs, the residential unit revolves around the large double-height space formed by the curved facade, creating an open living space. The site’s U-shape continues as a spatial motif in the organisation of the internal circulation so the journey through the building from exterior through interior to roof terrace shares a single principle, sometimes as positive, sometimes as negative.

The project is being developed in partnership with the Ivy Street Family Centre who have been engaged with the Hoxton community for over 30 years.

The renovation and extension of the building will allow their work to continue, maintaining and expanding a unique community resource. 

Ivy Street by Sam Jacob Studio

Ivy Street by Sam Jacob Studio

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