Huge congratulations to our friends at Henley Halebrown architects. The team recently won a well-deserved Architects Journal Retrofit award, for their work on the Laszlo building in Archway, North London.
Re-using an old warehouse, the goal was to create a flexible workspace. Originally the Batavia Mills, the Laszlo building dates from c.1900 and was home to Betts & Co. The firm manufactured metal storage tins there for many years, and the last refurbishment was over 30 years ago.
For decades the construction of an office building has been staged into a ‘shell and core’, and a ‘fit out’ programme. This reflects the speculative aspect of office building. The shell is a form of infrastructure, and the fit-out is designed for the occupation of the tenant.
As a result, the interior, designed to the requirements of the tenant, becomes disposable. Here, the architect focussed on careful detailing of standard materials. The aim was to create a continuity of thought between the largest elements of structure and finest tactile details. The project exposed the 100-year-old fabric and made adjustments to it.
The design approach favours retaining and improving, over demolishing and rebuilding. This retains embodied energy and reduces operational carbon. This is something that we at Ashfold are also passionate about.
The judges described it as: “An essay in delight: even down to the toilet doors.” The jury went on to say that the project was “Very confident [and] stunning”, adding that it is “controlled, yet infused with so much personality”.
Congratulations to all the team we worked with to make the project possible. If you want to know more about our experience or need support on similar projects, get in touch today.