From the architect. A great factory reconversion by British practice Dow Jones Architects with a great mixture of brick, wood and concrete.
The project involved the conversion of the top two floors of a Victorian former clog-making factory into a home for a filmmaker. It makes somewhere in the city from which to withdraw from a busy working life, and a place of reflection which takes advantage of the wonderful city views around it.
The existing roof structure is removed and replaced with two steel and timber box girders, big enough to be habitable, which span the brick walls and create a new horizon at roof level. As well as supporting the new roof, the girders provide an organisational structure, creating a territory of enclosure and screening. The space formed inside one girder is a rooftop ʻthinking roomʼ, with views across the terrace and the city beyond. The other girder is glazed to create a room-like window bringing light and volume down to the floor below. Different terraces occupy the spaces between these two enclosures. These spaces are seen as being analogous to sweetmeat rooms on the roofs of English renaissance palaces.
On the lower floors interventions into the existing building are minimal. A bathroom and kitchen are formed from in-situ concrete, conceived as large pieces of furniture built within the existing brick fabric of the building. These items of furniture are used to delineate space and create thresholds in lieu of physical walls.