A refurbished factory building for Clerkenwell’s new generation of designers and makers.
In the early twentieth century, tenants for buildings in the Clerkenwell area tended to be makers, small-scale manufacturers producing goods for a range of markets from corsets to loudspeakers. More recent tenants in the area are more likely to be involved in the knowledge economy – architects, graphic designers and creative agencies – but the neighbourhood has continued to be a lively and productive melting-pot. Exmouth House occupies a prominent location at the corner of Exmouth Market and Pine Street, and is home to the Orms studio. The street is well known to architecture-spotters as the home of Lubetkin’s Finsbury Health Centre. Built just five years after Exmouth House, the low, horizontal lines of the Lubetkin building stand in stark contrast to the more massive 1930 structure with its huge factory-style windows and brick facades.
Orms’ refurbishment of Exmouth House has realised a long-standing plan to extend the building upwards, and has created twenty new office spaces on the existing roof. These have external terraces with spectacular views across the city, and were constructed while the building was still in occupation. The common parts of the building have been refreshed, most notably with enhancements to the dramatic courtyard space in the heart of the building, now sheltered with an ETFE canopy and dramatised with vertical mesh panels. The building’s identity has also been reinforced with the use of bold and consistent wayfinding graphics, graffiti artwork, neon signage, LED lighting and colour throughout.