A development of 26 contemporary apartments refurbished from an existing office building on the City fringes.
There is perhaps nowhere in London that has a richer mix of building types than the area around Spitalfields Market. Here the rich and the poor, the corporate and the artistic all rub shoulders. Uses change continuously – breweries transform into galleries, markets into workplaces. And similarly, Orms’ ‘The Writers’ project has carefully re-thought two office buildings to create a new residential complex around a hidden courtyard reminiscent of the traditional London mews.
The 26 apartments – a mixture of studio, one and two-bed units – sit above retail and restaurant space at the ground and basement levels, and incorporate prefabricated kitchen and bathroom pods. Each unit is dual aspect, flooding the internal spaces with daylight. The grain of the existing structure informed the internal layout of the apartments: living spaces have been placed on the busier street elevations while the bedrooms face the quieter courtyard. The street-facing facades of the original offices have been retained, extended and sensitively restored, but once inside the courtyard a more contemporary palette of materials is revealed. The lift cores are clad in copper-coloured panels while a transparent veil of vertical timber fins screen the staircases behind.