An innovative construction project at 195-205 Richmond Road in Hackney, London, is expected to be complete soon. The scheme, named The Arthaus, includes the construction of luxury apartments based around an atrium, which itself houses an art gallery.
The Arthaus building is a multi-use platform that includes both commercial and residential spaces for rental usage. In total, there are 97 apartments and 25 social units over the ground floor and five further storeys. Private flats are based around the atrium, which itself is six storeys high. There is a mixture of duplex, one two and three-bedroom flats, along with a communal terrace for the residents.
The 27-month project, which began in May 2009, is almost complete. Workers are currently completing the last stage, for which they have recently gained planning permission.
The original planning permission was granted by the Planning Committee of the London Borough of Hackney at their Sub-Committee in March 2010. The scheme was submitted by Lynas Architecture and DP9 Planning Consultants on behalf of Findon Urban Lofts. Sheldon Construction was the main contractor, having taken over the project after Lancsville Construction went into administration prior to Christmas 2009. Roc Electrical provided the electrical installation.
For the second phase of the project, Engel Construction were appointed to carry out the Groundworks, substructure and superstructure work to form 23 private luxury apartments which are combined with ground floor commercial space. The superstructure consists of an RC frame that is made up of a ground floor and 6 floors above this.
At 199 Richmond Road, the development consists of 26 social and rented apartments, 3 luxury townhouses and 45 private apartments combined with commercial space on the ground floor. The project comprised of site clearance, soil investigations, demolition and facade retention to allow for the construction of the residential apartments. There are 74 individual units with common areas and stairs and lifts. Blocks A and B consist of a traditional RC frame, whilst block C consists of a hybrid RC frame and external/internal concrete block work supporting timber joints. The cladding is mainly red brick, with zinc to the rear and top floors. Windows are staggered and vary in size as the use behind varies – these are broken up by recessed balconies. The top floor provides views south over London, and there is a range of facilities available, including a communal TV and entertainment that residents can either rent out or use socially and 24 hour concierge.
There has also been a small amount of landscaping to the front of the facade and the entrances to the commercial and residential units.
Michael Lynas from Lynas Architecture described how the development had managed to combine the traditional with the modern. He said: “There was an old Victorian warehouse facade and old steel windows that we had to keep due to planning permissions. The new design had to accommodate these features.”
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the design is the way that the apartments have been built around the atrium. Indeed, if one was to enter the building, they would actually enter the atrium and the art gallery. The atrium spans five floors and encompasses 250m², allowing for natural light and large-scale works. It houses Galerie8, a contemporary art gallery.
Richmond Road is home to a fascinating history. In 1903, the Richmond House was built as a commercial laundry house, before the second floor of the building was converted to a concert and theatre venue – named Rebecca Seymour Hall – in 1935. After the building was abandoned in 2002, the space became an environment for individual artists and groups to inhabit and use for experimentation.
By combining modern architecture with the existing traditional features, Lynas Architecture has created a unique building that will stand the test of time.
Lynas Architecture is a small architectural practice dealing with large and small projects throughout London. The studio currently works on several schemes of 60-100 apartment buildings, whilst simultaneously designing extensions and new homes for private clients.