The building, built in the 1930s, had a former life as a shoe factory. The clients were drawn to it for its expansive windows, though the old arrangement of rooms meant that these were always partially hidden from view. The brief was to transform the warehouse space, taking close consideration of the scale, grain and detailing of the existing architecture, and to create something very personal to the clients, representing something of their histories. The old factory has a roughness, an authenticity, which appealed to Dexter, whose film background supports a love of architecture seen through a lens, in movement. The existing window frames which work together on metal rods ‘in unison’ for ventilation are a complex but beautiful mechanical pivoting system which creates a raw and industrial aesthetic that retains a certain dynamic of movement, even when static. These themes permeated the design.
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