493-495 Hackney Road, formerly the site of the oldest ironmongers in London trading since 1797, has undergone a two-part refurbishment and extension to accommodate a mixed-use commercial and residential development.
The first part of the scheme consisted of the restoration of the double-height commercial unit at the front and the design of two new apartments on the second and third storeys, historically used as staff quarters for the ironmongers. Respecting the heritage of the Georgian architecture, the commercial unit on the ground floor was kept largely as it was with a sensitive renovation of the period façade. The glass over the entrance, part of the original design of the building dating from the early nineteenth century was carefully restored, and internal areas reconfigured to suit the change of commercial use. The layout of the second and third storeys was significantly altered to meet the brief with a new ply feature staircase designed to serve the two new flats.
The second stage of the scheme consisted of the design and detailing of a new family home at the rear of the site. Connected by a single-storey walkway glazed at one side, the accommodation is split between the existing renovated eighteenth-century coach house and a new two and a half storey building.
The existing structure of the renovated coach house was largely retained with original timber joists left exposed and strengthened by fixing plywood on top of the original floor boards. Two of the internal walls and part of the first floor were removed creating open and inviting living spaces. A single storey dining room extension was added to one side of the existing building with materials carefully chosen to blend with the original colours and textures. On the other side of the existing building, a two-storey extension was added with the first floor cantilevering out one side, accommodating an open plan kitchen area.
Extending the full width of the site, the new timber building at the rear is accessed via the glazed walkway. It accommodates the family bedrooms, with one side facing a private courtyard almost entirely glazed providing ample sunlight. The exposed timber mullions of the glazing were also used structurally to help stiffen the floors above. Fire design was a key consideration to ensure sufficient support without adding or replacing too much of the existing structure. As much of the timber structure was exposed, the details were carefully developed by working closely with the architect to ensure the visual aspirations of the project were met.
Webb Yates Engineers was responsible for the full structural design of the mixed-use scheme working closely with the client and architect to produce beautiful and considered spaces which reactivates the building while respecting the heritage and history of the site.