It was one of the most agonising conversions ever to feature on the Grand Designs … now it’s for sale for almost £3 million
Viewers might recall the tortuous process that led to the conversion of a corrugated furniture workshop in Camden into a home and architecture studio.
If not, let me refresh your memory – the 3000 sq. ft. steel-framed workshop was in a conservation area, was riddled with asbestos, and was hemmed in on all sides by neighbouring homes, to which it was attached.
The architect, Henning Stummel, took the hard road – he decided to work with the exisiting footprint of the building, and the original steel frame, though the latter decision was eventually revised when the frame was found to be rusty beyond redemption.
This being Grand Designs, the problems were myriad – leaks into a neighbour’s home, a faulty survey of the site dimensions, expensive permissions to use their neighbours’ gardens, windows and doors that didn’t fit….
Stummel described the end result thus:
Rather than carving up the main space of the building we decided to keep the main ‘industrial’ space as capacious as possible and to juxtapose the scale of the domestic bed and bathrooms by turning these into an oversize sculpture, a composition of plywood boxes set within the larger space.
To set the scene, we let the visitor enter through a minute door into a dark passageway. On opening the luminescent glazed doors at the end of this corridor you find yourself at the top of a wide set of stairs overlooking the large tranquil top-lit space, and at the far end you see the composition of plywood boxes.
McCloud loved it: “quite simply – brilliant.”
The property was the the Winner of the RIBA London Housing Award, 2014 and is not for sale for £3 million (it cost £600k to convert).