Ravey Street Residence
East London Residence Karakusevic Carson Architects Project Team Paul Karakusevic Iain Carson Mercedes Rodrigo Garcia Christopher Treadway Structural Engineer: David Warren Contractor: Doherty Contracts Photographs: Ioanna Marinescu Brave clients without a site: Our clients had a passion for a new residence, with space, light and out door space but also generous rooms and flowing spaces after living in Victorian Housing in London for many years. Due to the desire of the clients to live in a purpose built residence the search for a site with the opportunity to build was extremely demanding and wide ranging. With limited residential sites in appropriate locations our practice started to explore the potential of using a roof top of buildings in East London as the site for a new type of new build apartment, the 3-4 Storey factory buildings had expanses of under used roof top space with the potential for extra accommodation which could lead to a range of configurations often without the planning constraints of designing a family house in an existing street. Finding new ‘land’ Through an analysis of the airspace potential of a series of landlocked warehouses, we were able to secure a third floor warehouse factory shell with expansive flat roof area, which is virtually invisible from the streets surrounding the site. The invisibility of the site assisted us in achieving a planning freedom not often found in conservation areas in London. The factory had been squatted for many years and the existing space was quite non-descript and dark, and it felt inappropriate and un-desirable to make a conventional Loft ‘fit out’, the clients were brave and open minded, but had a desire to live in a different way, reflective of their careers and lifestyle. Dealing with a deep warehouse plan and fire restrictions The apartment accessed by the original industrial stair and lobby serving the creative studio spaces below, occupies a 150 square metre shell space and through negotiation with the Planning Authority we were able to design a further 250 metres of space on the roof top with 120 metres of roof garden. The shell had a typical warehouse profile with deep and dark spaces, achieving good light qualities and views were achieved through the introduction of a series of interlinked double/triple height top lit spaces modulated by shutters and sliding doors. The flank walls had limited opportunity for glazing due to Party Wall and Fire restrictions giving rise to a rare and varied type of space that needed to be modelled in order to create the possibilities for terraces and views. The smaller rooms and kitchen and small workspace are placed in the original shell space, but the former roof has been opened to allow generous views to the key living spaces on the upper level. Creating views and light As you move through the apartment light and views change until the staircase arrives at the day room on the upper roof terrace level. The arrangement of rooms allow for a variety of domestic and contained spaces through to a series of larger spaces reminiscent of the warehouse plan, allowing the clients to enjoy a variety of living and working layouts. The rooms range from those more private rooms overlooking tight industrial courtyards through to the ‘day room’ that has views across East London and the City. Materials and textures The materials were selected carefully for their structural, modelling and textural qualities and help to create a series of sculpted spaces within the apartment. The materials included in-situ concrete, engineered brick, oiled French Oak, and natural render. Construction The site was problematic as the lower part of the building was occupied and the streets extremely narrow. The structural additions and extensions to the party walls required the signing of 16 Party Wall Agreements. The complexity of the structural stair ruled out many builders who were interested in quicker returns elsewhere. A very strong and positive relationship was established with the small Contractors and clients and the Contractors managed to deliver the project successfully.

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