Arthaus | Lynas Smith



Arthaus gained planning in 2008 and 2010, completed in 2011, is a dynamic mix of apartments, (private and social),  town houses and working studios as well as restaurants, with indoor and outdoor private and public amenity space.

The building used to be a paper mill,  and was used after that as a Storage Building for an East End Gallery. The Facade was retained as an integral part of the conservation area.


Commercial space is provided in the form of large and flexible floor plans at ground, first and second floor level within the new extension. They are connected visually and physically to the street and atrium space allowing the vibrancy of these workplaces to enliven the whole scheme. Behind the retained facade at street level, a cafe and restaurant are located which connect the pleasant landscaped fore court and spill into the atrium courtyard.

A range of tenure and unit sizes encourage a lively mix of occupants to this scheme. All units have either private terraces or balconies or have access to a south facing communal terrace at fourth floor.

The affordable apartments and houses have  their own entrance and outdoor amenity space. This housing provision has the added advantage of incorporating both social rented and shared ownership. Townhouses with individual entrances, private gardens and upper floor terraces outdoor space are also included in the scheme.

The atrium brings natural light into the heart of the building. This central space provides natural ventilation and functions as indoor streets from which apartments are accessed. The sequencing of spaces brings residents from the street entrance into the building and to their apartment door.





We retained the facade, everything else was demolished and constructed behind. Signage was restored.

During construction in 2010 the client hosted an Art Installation in the superstructure of the site. Large pieces of art were installed and lit for a night in the freezing cold of winter and enjoyed with cold beverages.





The facade was cleaned and spaces were made to fit the existing  windows.





Today the Arthaus is a vibrant space with Restaurants on Ground floor, populating the space in front of it. To the locals it is well known for its popular Italian restaurant. The area in front of the building, which was formerly used as a car park is now a lively seating area for the restaurants, framed by planting. Temporary Pop-Up structures were built here for use in  winter time.



New additions were articulated in brick. Grey and Red distinguish from the existing brickwork, whilst complimenting it.





The main feature and ‘surprise’ when entering the building is the large atrium, which provides access to flats on all levels, as well as communal spaces. Balustrade to the walkways are clad in cedar. seating areas are designed into the circulation pattern. The Atrium is designed as a covered external space. Circulation as a communicative tool which creates a community of residents.


Adjacent flats benefit from the large existing windows of the retained facade. Bright and airy spaces are kept minimal in interior design.







The Photographer James Hudson  documented the ‘life in the Arthaus’ starting with our office move from Arthaus to Warehaus in 2014.


A 1930s theatre house, a dance hall, an artists’ studio and a gallery – the Arthaus building has a rich heritage as a space filled with people and their creations.  5  years ago, the building was redeveloped into a purpose-built mixed-use development, and is now home to a café, a restaurant, a yoga studio, commercial office space, private apartments and gardens.  Yet mixed-use developments such as this are a new phenomenon to emerge from the 21st century.  Here, home and work are housed side by side – nestled under the same roof in a way that has never been seen before.  Now, photographer James A. Hudson’s is working with the building’s architects, Lynas Smith, to observe this new way of living.  James was Artist in Residence at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford in 2010-11, where he explored the changeable and often uneasy relationships between museum visitors and their surroundings, culminating in the publication of his book, Metamorphosis.  Lynas Smith were until recently a tenant of the Arthaus building; the documentary begins as they move out of their office on the Ground Floor fronting the atrium to begin a new life in the recently completed Warehaus building just down the road.  Together, they are creating Life in the Arthaus.





In 2018 we completed a roof extension (2 x 2 Bed)  featuring a living wall facade.

Project: Arthaus
Address: Richmond Road, Hackney
Client: Union Developments


  • Planning was approved in 2010, Completion in 2011
  • 97 residential units Affordable and Private
  • Commercial Space on GF, 1st and 2nd. floor 350 m2 A1/A3, 2400 B1
  • 40 car parking spaces