Hackney / Rooftop development

Belsham Street, Hackney E9
Project Architect:
Ben Ridley
Architectural services:
Initial sketch concepts
Outline designs
Planning application
Appointing consultants
3D modelling

This project is an extension and renovation of an early 20th century warehouse in Hackney, East London. The building had previously been used as a joinery workshop, and more recently artists’ studios. The building is on Belsham Street, adjacent to the rapidly developing Morning Lane area of Hackney, which is soon to become a high profile fashion retail destination.

The perforated brass-clad rooftop extension creates four new flats above the existing building. The existing fabric is also to be refurbished to provide a further 5 flats, with improvements externally including new joinery and black finishes.

The context is a relatively tough urban site with a variety of architectural styles, and many buildings in a state of disrepair, giving rise to a lack of visual coherence and quality. The perforated brass cladding provides privacy and mediated views from the new units and is intended as a contemporary reinvention of the classic domestic privacy tool – the net curtain. The diamond pattern of the brass cladding continues above the facades, in the rooftop residents’ garden. This green roof features planting species set out in coloured diamonds, forming a fifth elevation, which is readable from the adjacent residential towers.

Belsham Street was featured in the Architect’s Journal ‘Architecture Tomorrow’ awards at MIPIM UK, and published in the Architect’s Journal.