The Paintworks is a former artists workshop in the Kingsland Road conservation area, which was converted into a mixed use residential and commercial. Structurally complex, the extensive extension covers both the basement of the existing building and the rear carpark with a distinct inhabitable facade. The building exaggerates the large bay window typology in a contemporary interpretation as a space in suspension between the interior and the city. The building is clad in an environmentally sustainable recycled resin and stone compound mapped with a paper textures reminiscing its former function.
Creating housing within the city comes with a number of challenges and our role as architects is to create meaningful buildings which vastly improve urban life. Whilst we cannot always provide gardens and communal shared open spaces as briefs and budgets on tighter smaller sites do not permit it we seek to create value with light, airyness, volumes which allow us to exist within some measure of the exterior from within. For Paintworks we sought to create layers of space within a thick facade of projecting glazed bay windows, which hang like picture frames on to the surrounding context. They create dialogue between the building’s past and future. The windows are both within and outside the envelope concurrently and create an in-between space within vast volumes, in which one may sit perched between the city and interior.
The interiors are designed with a focus on natural light and accentuating the space, to create a perfect blank canvas for residents to enjoy city living. From the outside, a white, custom-textured ‘crumpled paper’ façade made of a recycled resin and concreate compound called Acantha Papyrus envelops the minimalist structure. Environmentally sustainable due to the recycled content, this material is also extremely light, resistant to heat, temperature, and weathering.