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Sewdley Street

Giles Pike Architects

Project Name

Sewdley Street

Project Status



  • Structural Engineer: Timothy George
  • General Contractor: Miles Builders Ltd
  • Other: Culmax
  • Other: Lazenby’s
  • Other: Fabco

Project Description


A dilapidated Victorian workshop building stripped back to its structure and restored to enhance design and practicality as a 21st century dwelling.

Despite an original meeting which involved the discussion of demolishing the building and constructing a new house, it was agreed that the existing building had a unique and unconventional character, and that a successful design could be generated by working within the existing fabric. The building had been converted by previous owners and the ground floor was a series of dark bedrooms with living accommodation at first floor level. Moving between floors was awkward with a steep staircase shoehorned into a corner. The first riser was 270mm.

A physical connection between the front section (built in 2008) and the main body of the building was proposed, which took the shape of an angled three-storey cast in-situ concrete wall. The concrete wall provides a physical and visual link through the building both horizontally and vertically. It provides both a structural and visual element and is the driving force of the scheme.

An additional bedroom storey involved re-structuring the building using an exposed steel frame creating a series of goalpost structures that repeat through the ground and first floors. Most aspects of the front façade were retained. The new top floor is clad in dark grey zinc and the exterior of the first floor is also painted grey – the idea being to pull an eclectic elevation together.

The result is a high quality contemporary home with a strong sense of the past. New elements preserve and enhance the original building and enable current building standards to be achieved. The building is very tactile and the practical arrangement of space and circulation has created a dynamic design with visual interest at every turn.
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