Turnmill Clerkenwell

Piercy & Company, London, 2012


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View south looking down Turnmill Street 

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  • View south looking down Turnmill Street    
  • The atrium     
  • Street number carved into the brickwork    
  • The facade uses a combination of different shades of handmade bricks    
  • The curves in the lift reflect the curves of the facade    
  • View from the roof terrace    
  • Office space    
  • The building is clad in a mix of handmade Roman format brick    
  • Design concept inspired by Barbara Hepworth    
  • The previous building on the site     
  • Site plan    
  • North, south and west elevations    
  • Lower ground floor, and ground floor plans    
  • Levels 1 to 4 plans    
  • Level 5 and roof plans    
  • Detail of the Peterson Tegl Kolumba brickwork    

Office and retail development on the site of former Turnmills nightclub

In 2007 planning consent was secured to refurbish and extend the existing building in Clerkenwell, which housed Turnmills nightclub. As the scheme evolved, the rising cost of conversion, combined with compromised space in the original building, raised questions about the viability of a refurb. Piercy & Co and the client, Derwent London, both felt that a beautiful new building would significantly enhance the site and streets beyond
The planning process was challenging, with three planning applications and a public inquiry. The design process was scrutinised in great detail by the London Borough of Islington and we produced hundreds of supporting models, sketches and sample boards to win consent in 2011.

It was always our intention to create a timeless ‘Clerkenwell building’, which would respond to the distinctive character of the area. The design draws on the historic fabric of Clerkenwell and its present-day incarnation as a centre for London’s creative media.  The robust but refined warehouse buildings of the area provided a guiding template, while the concept is inspired by Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture Curved Form Delphi, which has a textured external skin and a pure white void carved from its centre.

Derwent London wanted to experiment with a special handmade Danish brick by Petersen Tegl, and the right palette of three colours of brick was created to complement the Old Sessions House opposite.


  • Begun: Jan 2012
  • Completed: Nov 2012
  • Floor area: 9,032m2
  • Sectors: Retail, Residential
  • Procurement: Design and build
  • CO2 Emissions: 17.9kg/m2/year
  • Address: 63 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1, United Kingdom

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