71 Queensway

Robin Lee Architecture, London, 2015


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External entrance 

James Newton     Download Original

  • External entrance    
  • Full-height steel windows    
  • The upper floor was opened volumetrically by removal of steel cross-bracing to the pitched roof    
  • Balustrades are formed in large sheets of 12mm steel plate with hexagonal apertures    
  • Perforated balustrades surround the opening and form edges to the open treaded steel stair    
  • The concrete staircase    
  • The cinema room    
  • Access to the garden terrace    
  • Kitchen on the upper floor    
  • Lazing banquette    
  • Site location plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Section AA    
  • Stair detail 1    
  • Stair detail 2    

This conversion of a former warehouse in Bayswater, west London, creates a grand two-level apartment plus office space for its developer Baylight.

The scheme is a refurbishment of a deep-plan Victorian warehouse.

Bounded on the flanking elevations by existing buildings with narrow lightwells, the opportunity for daylighting was limited to a small number of windows at each end of the building. The challenge was further compounded by the location of the main access stair at the eastern extremity of the property, which further curtailed access to daylight. These limitations led to qualitative judgments about the atmospheres that could be created within parts of the interior.

Spatial continuity was accentuated by a single-floor treatment in poured industrial resin, while the existing floor of beam-and-block construction was exposed to create a raw, articulated counterpoint to the smooth and seamless flooring. Outer brick walls were exposed, giving a strong sense of enclosure and orientation, while new inner walls were finished in natural clay plaster to give material continuity with the clay bricks. A natural chalk colour and fine texture provide subtle contrast with the red hue and coarseness of the existing brickwork.

In the centre of the plan is an internalised free-flowing and informal space surrounded by rooms. Connecting through the plan from east to west, the space is lined entirely in full-height panels of macassar ebony timber. Modulated in width through the centre of the plan, the space acts as a series of social places containing small niches of individual space and larger collective spaces for gathering. At the heart of this space, a generous staircase folds down from both eastern and western living areas through a large opening formed within the upper floorplate.

Roof structure and finishes were raised to allow the primary steel structure to be exposed as an inner armature against a uniform backdrop of clay plaster. Peculiarities inherent in the existing steel frame were exposed, with new steel elements connected in a manner consistent with original jointing and junctions.


  • Begun: Feb 2014
  • Completed: Feb 2015
  • Floor area: 464m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £1.6M
  • Procurement: JCT IC 2011
  • Address: 71 Queensway, London, W2 4QH, United Kingdom

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