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“The Cooperage” Clerkenwell

May 13, 2024

The Cooperage

By  Chris Dyson Architects

Believed to have built in the early 1900s, this former brewery cooperage sits within a tight mews street in Clerkenwell. The area is the heart of London’s design and creative scene and is known for its array of Victorian warehouses that once housed various industries over time, including brewing, distilling, and printing. The building had already been in residential use since being converted in the 1990’s, however our clients wished for increased natural light and connectivity between spaces within the building, alongside improved thermal and energy efficiency.

Chris Dyson Architects were invited to prepare a scheme to extend the existing property and perform a complete refurbishment of its interior. By stripping back the building to its bare fabric, removing all modern additions that had been added over time, and preserving its original features it was possible to bring a new understanding to its potential and what could be made possible with the space.

The existing basement was extended laterally to create a large open-plan family living area over which rises a triple height atrium – a space around which much of the accommodation is structured and through which passes a dramatic feature staircase suspended throughout the atrium, which generates a main artery of connectivity across all floors of the structure. This main space contains kitchen and living areas, and the dining area features a living green wall.

The vertical extension rises from the top of the building and is occupied by four ensuite bedrooms and a generous roof terrace and outdoor kitchen with far-reaching roof-top views over Clerkenwell and the City of London. To distinguish this extension from the original brick structure a system of patinated bronze cladding panels and glass has been used for the exterior, which both compliment and contrast with the original structure.

The result is a residence which is incredibly versatile, energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing, where the structure’s industrial past is celebrated and is harmonious with the new additions we have placed within.

The project was the winner of the RIBA London Regional Award 2017, and winner of the Sunday Times Award for 2016.

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