The Old Dairy, Bloomsbury, Camden, London, UK

The scheme occupies a highly sensitive, triangular site between a conservation area and the informal setting of St George’s Gardens in Bloomsbury.

 

The building form tapers in plan to accommodate the triangular site, and in section to leave the tree canopies that give so much character to the area unimpeded. The shallow roof pitches break down the mass of the building. The ‘folded’ elevations follow the tree line and articulate the terraced properties. This formal response also strikes a balance between the domestic rhythm of Regent’s Square residences whilst reflecting the industrial heritage of the Express Dairy. 

Ground Floor Plan

First Floor Plan

With a need to be ‘stealthy’ towards St Georges Gardens, large areas of glazing were restricted to being behind the listed boundary wall. The schemes visual impact is further reduced by setting it back from the listed wall creating a communal courtyard. The upper level is predominantly for bedrooms and so the windows are ‘hidden’; arranged obliquely. Finally at the northern gable wall of the old shed is retained. This ensures that the existing residents’ view will ‘remain the same’. The split-level section, secluded private patio gardens and screened roof terraces maximize light into the homes and maintain privacy. 

The B1 commercial elements of the terrace are located at the busier western end where there is space for servicing and access without disturbing the residential elements. The two commercial units can be linked via a sunken court.

 

The sensitivity of this site is reflected in the use of materials. The upper levels of the main block are of burnished metal cladding that recedes into the background of the Gardens. This is folded to minimize the impact of the glazing onto the Gardens. The block closest to the Gardens however has a brick screen reminiscent of the adjacent listed mortuary chapel. Convex Milky white ceramic tiles at lower levels reflect the light and the dairy’s past.

 

This project received a unanimous vote of support for planning approval.

Old Dairy, Bloomsbury, Camden, London, UK

 

Client

Goldenstone Development Ltd

Programme

11 apartments and 2 town houses

1200 sqm of commercial space

Site area

0.2 ha

Building costs

Undisclosed

Executive Architects

Stanhope Gate Architecture and LTS Architects