Cullinan Studio, London, 2012


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First floor open plan space with retained listed roof trusses 

Tim Soar (website)     Download Original

  • First floor open plan space with retained listed roof trusses    
  • Locally listed south wall facing Regents Canal    
  • The new street elevation is heavily insulated and has increased glazing to give excellent studio light    
  • Locally listed wall facing Regents Canal    
  • A reading shelf against the void gives views onto the canal    
  • The void against the canal wall is overlooked by the ground floor mezzanine office level    
  • Canal level office space    
  • Canal level office space    
  • Glazing is hung from the new steel frame which supports the listed trusses    
  • Ground floor meeting room    
  • Canal level eating area    
  • Cullinan Studio employees take it in turns to make lunch on Fridays when they have an informal meeting to catch up on events that took place during the week    
  • Site plan    
  • Canal level floor plan    
  • Street level floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Section    
  • Cutaway section highlighting sustainable elements of the retrofit    
  • Street elevation before refurbishment    
  • Interior at canal level before refurbishment    
  • Interior at street level before refurbishment    
  • Early stages of the retrofit before street level mezzanine floor installed    

Refurbishment of a 19th century Victorian foundry building to provide office and studio space for the architecture practice on the north towpath of the Regents Canal in Islington

The south wall of the warehouse building is locally listed and leaning by 250mm from bottom to top towards the canal. In order to retain the wall, significant structural works were required to arrest its movement. The roof trusses on the first floor are also listed and therefore had to be retained.

Shear walls of steel structure articulate two circulation zones framing studio spaces. A horizontal steel truss, with intermediate supports spanning between the structure, supports the failing wall to the south and creates a void against it to express the double-height windows of the listed wall. This rearrangement of the existing building volume creates a single volume, with a two-storey design space for the architecture practice. The windows in the listed south wall were enlarged as much as was permitted by conservation guidance to maximise daylight and ventilation.

The first floor has excellent natural light and cross ventilation borne of cutting the existing north wall off at first floor sill level. A continuous band of glazing is hung from the steel frame, which was inserted to stabilise the existing building fabric and to support the listed timber trusses.

The building achieves a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. The north and south walls achieve U-values of 0.1W/m2K, with recycled newspaper blown onto the inner face of the south wall.

The building uses an air-source heat pump, located within the overrun of the old lift shaft, to provide domestic hot water and under-floor heating. PV panels on the south slopes of the roof generate electricity and mechanical ventilation heat recovery services the toilets.


  • Begun: Oct 2011
  • Completed: Sep 2012
  • Floor area: 1,055m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £1.3M
  • Address: 5 Baldwin Terrace, London, N1 7RU, United Kingdom

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