HomeResidential ArchitectureHousesA Live / Work Space in Whitechapel, East London

A Live / Work Space in Whitechapel, East London

Can work and living space happily coexist?

A live / work space in Whitechapel, East London Studio

Project: A live / work space in Whitechapel
Architecture: Vine Architecture Studio
Lead Architect: Rory Pennant-Rea
Structural Engineer: Rodrigues Associates
Main Contractors: Miles Builders
Location: East London, England, United Kingdom
Area: 65 m2
Year: 2023
Photo credits: Nicholas Worley, Edward Bishop, Vine Architecture Studio

Whitechapel Road warehouse has been converted by Vine Architecture Studio into a contemporary live / work space

This Victorian warehouse in the working heart of east London is owned by a socially conscious landlord who rents out each floor to small creative start-ups. He happens to also be our landlord (our studio is in the neighbouring building). Our client, an up-and-coming fashion and costume designer, often works on location for long periods at short notice, and our refurbishment of her top-floor space acknowledges this transient lifestyle, unlocking it for both living and work.

A live / work space in Whitechapel, East London Studio

Our first move was to open up the unused loft space, creating a mezzanine floor for use when the our client is staying over in London. We pulled the floor edge back to reveal the arched warehouse window in its entirety, allowing north light to flood in and giving a stronger sense of space and connection. We left the original roof trusses exposed which mark out distinct areas for sleeping, relaxing and dressing.

The main workspace below is open and flexible, allowing cutting tables, sewing machines and workbenches to be arranged according to the current project, and has storage and pin-up boards for walls. A small kitchen and bathroom sit below the mezzanine.

workspace

We wanted to demonstrate that natural and recycled materials are grounding and uplifting.

A key principle of our design approach was to use – and celebrate – natural and raw materials, specifying those that were traceable to their source, free from chemicals and excessive processing. The walls are of clay and timber, contrasting with bright rubber flooring that colour wraps up the wainscotting in the workspace and continues up the stair treads.

Cork is used for the mezzanine flooring and wall panelling, with oak for the joinery, vegetable oil-based paint, and rubblazzo kitchen worktops made from rubble salvaged from demolished London buildings.

A live / work space in Whitechapel, East London Studio

A live / work space in Whitechapel, East London Studio

kitchen

kitchen

stairs

A live / work space in Whitechapel, East London Studio

A live / work space in Whitechapel, East London Studio

bedroom

bathroom

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