Ben Adams Architects has secured planning permission for an inventive reworking and extension of 21 New Street, a converted wool warehouse in Aldgate between Shoreditch and the City of London.
Designed for developer Aviva Investors, this project transforms the original 19th-century warehouse, badly converted to office use in 1981, to increase the amount of office space in the building by 40% to about 80,000 sqft and is hoped to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.
The building is a significant new contribution to the City Fringe, increasingly the area for creative workspaces, innovative restaurants, bars, pop-ups and Tech, and one which threatens to usurp the more sensible City of London.
Ben Adams Architects’ design will rationalise the floorplate through the careful integration of a new, efficient concrete core within the existing cast iron and timber structure.
Working carefully in this conservation area, the architects have added two new storeys at the top of the building by removing an old mansard at level 6 and replacing it with a three storey extension that tiers back from the original roofline. This addition is clad in a mix of perforated, opaque and textured panels in contrast with the original buff masonry of the warehouse building. Roof terraces unfold at each level of the extension.
At the ground floor level, BAA have enhanced the public realm with a new courtyard and a public thoroughfare running through the courtyard to connect New Street to Catherine Wheel Alley.
At basement level, an old car park is converted to provide 3,500 sqft of commercial office space along with bike spaces, showers and changing rooms.
“For BAA this is a great opportunity to reinvent this historic building, and the public space that surrounds it,” says Ben Adams of Ben Adams Architects. “We want to reinvigorate the courtyard and make sure that more people have access to it, contributing even in a small way to a more open city.”
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