A former printing press and gin distillery in London’s Clerkenwell is to be transformed into a new office hub for the creative industries alongside a floating art gallery and cultural space. Proposals have been submitted for planning by developer General Projects, in partnership with Northern & Midland Holdings, a family owned investment company, who acquired the buildings, known as Laser House, in 1991.
Designed by architect BuckleyGrayYeoman, the new scheme, known as Technique, proposes a radical reinvention of 132-140 Goswell Road, a 0.2ha site on the junction with Pear Tree Street. The scheme will provide 78,000 sq ft of offices, a restaurant, retail for the creative industries as well as a landmark new Art House gallery. In total, the development is expected to accommodate workspace for more than 800 people.
General Projects’ scheme proposes a comprehensive refurbishment and extension of the current 50,000sq ft property, which consists of two distinct four and three storey blocks fronting Goswell Road and Pear Tree Street respectively.
The prominent new Art House gallery will be built on a vacant plot where the two blocks meet. As well as creating a striking focal point and entrance for the new development, it will provide a dynamic public space for exhibitions, events and other community activities. This will revitalize an important corner that had, until the 1960s, been occupied by a public house, as well as re-introducing a public use to the site.
The Art House is conceived as a piece of art in itself. Situated above a glazed exhibition and lobby space, the double height gallery will be wrapped in highly polished concrete cladding rising 11metres in height. This monolithic façade will create a unique architectural focal point, and will be complemented by the new lift core’s ribbed, red glaze ceramic tiles.
Both the existing blocks will be extended to a height of five storeys and completely refurbished to create high quality modern and flexible creative workspace. The regeneration will also introduce active street frontages around the perimeter of the building including a retail unit and a statement restaurant on Goswell Road.
On the Pear Tree Street elevation, former loading bays will be converted into high quality commercial office space with the introduction of fully glazed shopfronts into the existing bays. Further office accommodation will be located in the refurbished lower ground floor, which will also include affordable workspaces.
Jacob Loftus, CEO, General Projects comments: “Technique offers a fantastic opportunity to reinvigorate this prominent corner of Clerkenwell with a striking architectural intervention that sits at the heart of an ambitious new prime creative office development.”
A planning application for the scheme, has been submitted to the London Borough of Islington. General Projects hopes to start on site by the end of this year, with completion by 2019.
Art collaborations currently on site
General Projects and Studiomakers have collaborated with arebyte to open a studio hub for artists and creative practitioners in the unused spaces of the building. Studiomakers is an initiative led by Outset Contemporary Art Fund that works with property industry partners on entrepreneurial solutions to creating and retaining affordable artist workspaces in London. General Projects are working closely with Outset to integrate a more permanent element of affordable artist’s studios within the completed development.
Clerkenwell Design Week
Technique will be hosting Brinton’s innovative art installation by Shezad Dawood, which will form part of this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week programme.
During Clerkenwell Design Week, Jacob Loftus will be talking about preserving creative workspaces in the city on Tuesday 23 May at 6pm at Technique.
For further information please contact:
Katie White, or Gloria Roberts at Caro Communications
T: 0207 713 9388