Completion Date: December 2012


Orsman Whitmore Building, London, United Kingdom

A group of artists and designers came together to build, for their own needs, this mixed-use building of studio workspaces and separate living spaces.  The building is situated at the corner of Whitmore and Orsman Roads in East London, close to Regents Canal, in an area of brick warehouses, artist studios and local authority housing.

The design of the building takes its cue from the surrounding warehouses - simple concrete structures, brick clad with generous floor to ceiling heights and large windows.  A former two storey petrol station and forecourt, the 475m2 site has been transformed into this 5 storey mixed-use building, housing studios for artists and architects on ground and first floors, with three floors of spacious residential apartments above.

The structure is in-situ concrete, employing the Cobiax system allowing an intelligent economy of material to make lightweight slabs with greater spans (up to 8.5m) and less embodied C02. This is the first example of in-situ exposed concrete combined with the Cobiax system used in the UK. There are no internal columns, with the slabs spanning from the perimeter to the core, allowing for greater flexibility in the layout of the individual studios and apartments - no floor has the same plan.

The building is designed as a monolithic block with openings and cantilevers carved out; a concrete structure clad with handmade brick which forms a continuous skin stretched over, under and around the concrete frame. The brick cladding wraps the building creating deep reveals, thick brick piers, lintels and clad soffits framing the balconies and the continued use of exposed brick and concrete internally, give the building an overall feeling of solidity and permanence.

The project started on site September 2011 and was completed in December 2012.

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