The Workshop
Friday 03 May 2013


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This secluded site sits within a Victorian block and is accessed via a passage through a terraced house. The original development came about by spanning a delicate steel roof between buildings. Whilst the existing structure was in a derelict state, necessitating replacement, we loved the bright and tranquil space. The brief turned to retaining these qualities in an insulated contemporary residential rebuild.

Rather than carving up the main space, we decided to keep this 'industrial' space and to juxtapose the scale with that of the bed rooms by turning these into an oversize sculpture, a composition of ply wood boxes set within the larger space. We’re pleased with the theatre of this building. On entering through a dark and space via a deliberately small door you arrive in an amazing top lit space at elevated level with the bedroom sculpture as your view. It takes visitors by surprise!

Externally the building can only be seen from adjacent properties. The corrugated asbestos has been replaced with a more deliberately detailed corrugated steel shed. The delicate steel windows are set behind the outer's skin to create the illusion of a taught skin, avoiding clunky industrial details.

This is an extremely well insulated metal shed built to comply with BREAM Code level III. The metal cladding is effectively a rain screen on a very well insulated wall or roof typically containing 300mm of thermal insulation. This is a standard product from industrial construction and we see potential for future applications in house building. We have aimed to create a relatively airtight envelope, and use heat recovery ventilation. The building is heated with a low temperature under floor heating system throughout. This is set in a 90mm power-floated concrete floor, which also provides thermal mass. The building also makes use of solar thermal collectors.

Henning Stummel Architects Ltd.