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Ship shape: Archway studios, by Undercurrent Architects.

On a decrepit industrial site next to a Victorian railway viaduct in London, Undercurrent Architects imagined something truly extraordinary. Built in and around a railway viaduct they have created an uplifting live-work space that is manifest in the form of a fluid industrial secretion. An ooze of grease from a giant industrial machine perhaps.

The building seems as a gut response to the intense Victorian industrial heritage of the site. The dense overcrowding of those times appears to be a cue to literally squeeze habitable space from the site, almost accepting the resulting form as a consequence of the process. If that is the suggestion of course, it is an illusion. The building is pure artifice.

Site conditions were tight, with a narrow plot, limited access to light and views, and the railway as a source of noise and vibration.

At the heart of the living quarters is a double volume space with accommodation flowing off it. This space is top lit and is flooded with light. Lacerations in the side walls provide other glazing slots with a fully glazed end wall providing light in abundance.

The structure itself is also very interesting. Steel semi-monocoque elements were fabricated off site, more in the spirit of a ship than a building. The photos here, provided by the architect, give an interesting insight into the fabrication process.

Side perspective.

Entrance.

Structure detail.

Roof light.

Looking into the atrium.

Views into rooms.

Stairs.

Night concept.

 

 

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