The original building, constructed on a former WW2 bomb-infill site, was in an extremely poor state of repair. Sited within a local conservation area in the London Borough of Hackney the building is surrounded by Victorian warehouses. Planning permission was granted for the structural refurbishment, re-cladding and the stripping back of the office floorplates – a ‘de-furbishment’, as opposed to a refurbishment, which pared back the spaces.
Close attention was paid to the fine details of the project, such as by introducing a dramatic new Pyrolave cladding system of vibrant green French glazed lava stone, with a crackle glaze, tint and variation to transform the building’s facade. The tiles announce this ‘quiet’ building, which is stepped back from the main building line, and are also used to advertise its sustainability credentials. Flemish bond was also used for the tiles, inspired by the same bond visible on surrounding buildings.
New M&E services are exposed throughout to lend an industrial and raw finish to the interiors, while a newly re-orientated passenger lift grants access to all levels including the roof. The exposed services and finishes run through from the ground floor into reception and throughout the building, to link the spaces together in a choreographed sequence.
A new stair also links the ground floor and lower ground floor suites, while extensive state-of-the-art cycling facilities to suit new tenant needs, occupies a third of the basement level.
The original application had allowed for the addition of a new fifth floor extension – a wood Cross-Laminate Timber (CLT) pavilion which crowns the building. The structure was watertight in just three days, the erection of the prefabricated floor, columns and roof panels timed to suit the procurement and delivery of the glass, which offers interesting framed views over the city.
Shoreditch, London N1
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Aros, who we have worked with successfully on a number of previous projects, were appointed for the refurbishment of 26-28 Underwood Street, to create an exciting 21st Century tech image.
After researching various options for the street façades, Aros proposed the use of Bottle Green Lava-stone, a high quality material with an excellent design life and the result is a building that is instantly visible from both street approaches and its prominence was assured. Internally the building was fully re-modelled and all services were renewed, a new lift installed and all windows replaced.
Aros’ attention to detail throughout the design and construction delivered a building that fulfilled all of our expectations and the speed at which the office floors let to a range of tech occupiers was a testament to the overall success of the project.David Apperly, Apperly Estates Limited