No 33 Lamb’s Conduit Street

Benedetti Architects, London, 2016

 

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No 33 Lamb’s Conduit Street was built between 1765 and 1767 

Stale Eriksen     Download Original

  • No 33 Lamb’s Conduit Street was built between 1765 and 1767    
  • Connock & Lockie was established by Henry Connock and John Lockie in 1902    
  • The architect’s challenge was to meet the client’s aim of a fully functioning, accessible and welcoming atelier     
  • Benedetti’s key move was to insert a modestly scaled two-storey extension set away from the rear façade    
  • Sixty or so items of bespoke joinery were incorporated over the two levels to accommodate the needs of the business    
  • The ‘corner-free’ bi-folding doors open to the courtyard    
  • The client wanted to create an alternative to the front room/back room dichotomy of the typical West End tailoring set-up     
  • Suits are made in close consultation with clients    
  • The building was originally built in 1765 as a three-bay wide, four-storey townhouse with basement    
  • The kitchen    
  • Site plan    
  • Basement plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Third floor plan    
  • Roof plan    
  • Section AA    
  • Section BB    
  • Section CC    
  • Section FF    
  • Front elevation    
  • Back elevation    
  • Illustration    
  • Extension facade detail    

Benedetti Architects’ refurbishment of a bespoke tailor’s shop in central London retains the Georgian building’s quirkiness.

The client wanted to bring together his specialist team under one roof so that customers could be taken on a journey through the tailoring process. The architect’s challenge was to meet the client’s aim of a fully functioning, accessible and welcoming atelier, complete with idiosyncratic Georgian domestic planning and a vernacular significance.

Benedetti’s key move was to insert a modestly scaled two-storey extension set away from the rear façade. This is connected to the main building via a glazed corridor to create a cloister-like inner courtyard and lightwell.

At upper level, the extension houses a top-lit changing area combined with the accessible WC required by planning. A standard washroom layout is partitioned behind a heavy oak folding screen, which can be opened up to the wider room if wheelchair access is required.

An office space occupies the ground floor, enclosed by a removable corner of glazed folding doors so that the room and corridor can be fully opened up to the courtyard. Auxillary spaces – a more private consultation room with another separate changing area and a sewing atelier – are accommodated in the main building’s basement, along with kitchen, bathroom and storage area in the row of three vaults separated from the basement frontage. The house’s upper storeys, also part of the project, were refurbished as two apartments.

The project’s unifying motif is wood, from the pale oak-clad frame of the extension to the new furniture and shop fittings in two tones of oiled oak, and the reuse of salvaged original panelling.

Lightly oiled oak articulates a sense of progression from the historic adjacent rooms with darker finishes. To achieve the desired dimensions and profiles, all timber elements except for the bi-folding door were procured as a bespoke joinery package. 75mm solid oak boards define 750mm wide x 2,400mm high segments with a mid-rail 1,000mm from the base. 

The ‘corner-free’ bi-folding doors open to the courtyard and form a half-in/half-out director’s office, where fabrics can be presented to clients in ample natural light. Numerous workshops with the structural engineer resulted in a column-free corner without increasing the depth of reinforced concrete beams. 

Linear-profile LED lighting is integrated into the ceiling alcove behind the bi-folding doorframe. The light veil along the internal edge illuminates inside and outside simultaneously.

Okalux-K was used for the roof glazing (U-value: 1.2W/m2 K) to ensure high energy performance. Architecturally the subtle, papery character of the interstitial layer also ensures privacy for the WC and changing room, while bathing the space in gently diffused natural light.

Data

  • Begun: Jun 2015
  • Completed: Sep 2016
  • Floor area: 355m2
  • Sectors: Retail, Office, Residential
  • Total cost: £2M
  • Procurement: Traditional with single-stage tender
  • Address: 33 Lamb's Conduit Street, London, WC1N 3NG, United Kingdom

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