Go with the grain

Refubishment and a new addition represent a dramatic statement and a delicate intervention

by James 28 October 2011
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    This project showcases the creation of a new life for old buildings with facilities to meet 21st century needs, whilst respecting and celebrating their integrity. The new is both a dramatic statement and a delicate intervention. The whole is a harmonious fusion of new and old. The refurbished Granary, with its new bronze-clad extension, is the new headquarters base for developer/contractor Rooff.

    Located in the Roding Valley, Abbey Road Riverside Conservation Area in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, the locally listed Granary building has been derelict and unoccupied for some considerable time and was in urgent need of comprehensive restoration to bring it back into use. London Thames Gateway Development Corporation obtained detailed planning consent with a scheme designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen for a new Creative Industries Quarter centred on the former Granary and adjacent Malthouse buildings. Rooff acquired the site in March 2010.

    PTEa was appointed to develop the planning consented scheme - the essence being to optimise the use of the space, both in the new and old buildings, whilst at the same time preserving the original character and historical references. Although substantial work was needed to repair and restore the fabric, as far as possible the ethos of the conversion was sensitive restoration; a light and gentle touch. The Granary has been restored with all new structures and interventions respecting the original fabric of the building. All lean-to extensions, accrued internal partitions and non-original secondary structures have been removed and formerly blocked-in windows, opened up again.

    The plan form and shape of the new extension is respectful of the original building and takes its cue from its strong gabled form. The new materials, bronze panels, further complement the original. The new accommodation is attached to the existing via the vertical circulation core and a high level bridge link. The main changes to the consented scheme were the removal of both the atrium linking the new and old buildings and the proposed podium around the base as well as the detail and design of the windows, rooflights and bronze cladding.

    Rooff moved into the building in July of this year. They occupy the two upper floors. The lower floors will be leased out to a mixture of creative and commercial users.

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