Can we create modern office designs that still reflect the layers of history that give the property its character?
7-9 Rathbone Street
Client: Stevens Properties Limited
Architect: White Red
Hartnell Taylor Cook
Structural design in brief
Sensitive restoration and light intervention on the primary building floors
New timber pop up pavilion on roof
Landscaped garden and plant spaces created on top of existing structure
The Garage is a modern office refurbishment that elegantly exposes the historical structure, integrating new building services to provide sustainable operational performance. Whilst undertaking our due-diligence on the site, London Structures Lab uncovered three generations of structural fabric within the existing building.
Originally built as a Bosch servicing garage in the late 19th century, the building was badly damaged during the Blitz. Record photography shows the front façade was saved along with the front two bays, where the original clinker concrete, filler joist floors are maintained. Following the Blitz, the garage was extended back to include greater area of shop floor. This can be considered as the second generation of structural intervention and included a mass produced Truscon pre-cast concrete floor system supported by a primary mild steel frame. The third generation of structural interventions was complete in 2001 when a partial light-weight extension was carried out on the upper floors of the front bays.
The architectural vision was committed to exposing as much of the original structure as possible, much of which was previously hidden behind ceiling finishes. The re-routing of historical services had left its mark on the original structure, with significant defects found throughout. These would require the development of delicate remediation details to reinstate the original quality and extend the life-span of the building. Finally, a small pop-up enclosure was designed to sit atop the previous rear extension and the existing roof was verified for an accessible terrace loading.
At London Structures Lab we believe strongly that you never own a design. We pass our design on to the future generations to improve on and alter. It was a privilege to be apart of this 4th generation project and we look forward to what happens in the future…