When the Post Office vacated their sorting office in Victoria, creative Italian developer Fabbriche Ceramiche saw the potential for a creative hub in the area, aimed towards design and arts based tenants who could benefit from shared space and the cross fertilisation of ideas and products.
Squire and Partners’ designs for the imposing red brick building retained some handsome original Victorian features, and sensitively maintained and exploited the existing character, both internally and externally, whilst inserting new modern interventions to complement the original. Materials such as CoreTen steel, glazed bricks and wrought iron relate to the buildings’ history. Existing steel beams and columns were retained and refurbished, and the original ceiling exposed. Externally, the front facade was cleaned and repaired with new large-pane windows to maximise natural light inside the building.
On the upper floors of the building, residential accommodation is provided in loft style apartments which again exploit existing Victorian details to create a distinctive character to the development. Double height and mezzanine spaces make the use of high ceilings and oversized Victorian windows, and create interesting living spaces. A palette of materials is used which draws on historical references including glazed ceramic bricks, stone and wrought iron. The ultimate luxury within this development is the generous volumes of space afforded to both commercial studios and residential apartments.
Architects: Squire and Partners
Project: Howick Place – Creative Hub
Client: Fabbriche Ceramiche
Services: Hilson Moran Partnership
Structure: Richard Watkins and Associates
Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon
Location: Victoria, London, UK
Photography: Will Pryce