Undercurrent Architects squeezed a slender live-workspace into a 19th century rail viaduct in London. Despite a slew of constraints (both physical and regulatory), the architects beautifully renovated the building's rusted red facade and interesting arched design while adding lots of natural light that brightens up what might have been a dour, depressing space.
Located in Southward, Archway Studios stands on a former brownfield site that was left to sour, and that kind of regeneration is an important part of Undercurrent’s professional ethos. Keen to make do with existing conditions, they applied their creative wit to a fully functional hybrid space that is clad in a striking weathered steel shell.
Measures were taken to protect the inhabitants acoustically from the outside noise and to keep the space airy and light. A skylight allows daylighting to fill the interior, which is remarkably contemporary in comparison with its industrial-chic facade, adorned as it is with fresh, natural materials. “As one of 10,000 arches that dissect neighbourhoods across London, it is a model that can be adapted for broad community benefit and regeneration,” say the designers, and we definitely agree.
Photography by Candice Lake