Monohaus is Lynas Smith’s third development in London Fields. Following Arthaus and Warehaus the office moved here in March 2018.
Initial design considerations pivoted around the existing mature London Plane tree on Mare street and how it could mark the entrance of the new ‘commercial street’.
The creation of a new public, pedestrianised Helmsley Street as a catalyst for new commercial/retail possibilities in line with the defined priority employment area and would also encourage social & public activity.
The creation of a second route through the site, an atrium, a place for break out meetings and lunch breaks for the commercial occupants.
With these new routes opening up the site to the surrounding area, the development becomes well integrated into the immediate urban fabric, creating a new connection within the network of streets that makes the area more permeable and provide an easy and unambiguous pedestrian route from London Fields through to Mare Street.
Sketch showing how we designed the building around the existing tree, creating an entrance space.
Early massing options.
Mare Street elevation: playing with Georgian proportions, depth and contrast of materials.
View from Sidworth Street, entrance to the central street and public square lined by Restaurant and Cafes.
View from Mentmore Terrace / Sidworth Street. imagined, during construction, built.
These sketches give an idea of the kind of public and private street spaces we hoped to create by cutting these two new routes through the site. The central street would be an enclosed, heated atrium space for use by the commercial units at lower ground, ground and first floors with public access at ground floor.
We want this to be a vibrant, well used, communal space to act as a catalyst for social interaction between the commercial inhabitants as well as providing them with a well lit, comfortable working environment that gives each unit the sense of a connection to the outside.
The internal street: bright and friendly, featuring plywood and planting.
Pockets for seating for office tenants and residents create a community between the users.
Re-connecting Helmsley Street as a pedestrianised public route at ground floor activates the frontages of the commercial units over ground and first floors to the North of the site. We anticipate that this street would also become an informal breakout space for people working in these units.
In our experience, developments benefit from a restaurant or cafe which can serve as an anchor unit which then attracts other businesses to the site. This approach proved successful at the Arthaus where street facing restaurants support the B1 units within.
Address: Mare Street, Hackney
Client: Union Developments