Warehaus is a recently completed building in Hackney of 30 residential units off atrium circulation, 7 ground floor duplex studio spaces and a rooftop garden and swimming pool.
The ex-industrial urban fabric around the building is somewhat disparate in architectural language but the older buildings are high quality and have been, in many cases, reused as offices for start-ups, cool restaurants and artisan industries, this building had to be a part of this fabric and stand out.
While other new buildings exist in the area, the Warehaus is seen as a starting point for future development, three adjacent sites already appear to be following in its wake.
The building was envisaged as a solid and powerful form using only bricks and creating a deep facade. There is a strong architectural order to the building’s outward expression, a simple rhythm over the three principle facades.
The roof had to be strong and bold. It is a plinth for the roof garden and swimming pool.
The Brick is used in a simple stretcher bond to demonstrate the main structural elements while soldier coursing and stack bonding create and emphasise the inset panels around the windows, the brick soffits, created with bonded slips help deepen the facades and bring the material into the side walls of the recessed balconies. The brick creates safe and enclosing external spaces, places that might retain some warmth and protection to be used throughout the year. The brick is used internally in the studio units at Lower Ground and Ground Floor giving the feeling of solidity in a way a vaulted cellar does.
The glass bottomed swimming pool gives the atrium beautiful light which adds to the sparkling artwork by Kerry Lemon, the aqua blue vinyl flooring and the brass handrail with an overall nautical effect.
The atrium, as a circulation method, makes it an event, a pleasing space to pass through on your way home. The primary driver was to encourage use of the stair rather than the lift and therefore enliven the space, the stair then became the feature itself.
The art work in the atrium is by artist and illustrator, Kerry Lemon. She also created the pieces in the side glazing of the entrance doors. Keeping with the aquatic theme, these are drawings of water plants that are laser cut from brass sheets.
A slim full height window to the side of the flat entrance door has an etched bronze plate sandwiched between the glass, a feature again by the artist and incorporating the flat number.
The flats are open, no corridors, high ceilings, exposed concrete structure, no having to pass through three doors to go anywhere in the flat, no dark corridors and every square meter a usable and attractive space. The balcony becomes an extension of the living space and bedrooms and the enclosing brick outside becomes part of the decor, always evident from inside.
The building has a strong presence in the ever-changing and latest hotspot in Hackney, from the railway line passing nearby and from the street below, the building expresses its materiality, energy and functionality and stands out as an exemplary way forward for local regeneration.
Address: 1G Mentmore Terrace, Hackney, E8 3DQ
Client: Union Developments