Consultants: Cundall, Ridge, Heasmans, KP Acoustics
Text description provided by the architects. In a quiet mews in the heart of Paddington, in central London, UK, is the new office of a business that invests internationally in sustainable agriculture. The part-restoration, the part-rebuild project is a little jewel in Edward Williams Architects international projects portfolio. The design has transformed the shell of a double fronted mews building into a contemporary and timeless workplace for a small but growing boutique office. With sustainability driving the client’s business, the building represents this ongoing commitment. A zero carbon sustainable strategy was adopted for the 210sqm building by replacing the gas supply with 100% renewable electricity bought from a sustainable source.
Designing with natural materials and through an honest expression of structure and detailing, the Architect has restored as much as possible of the existing building fabric to achieve an economy of materials and a sense of historic place. The offices derive their character from the retained brickwork, natural oak linings and dark grey painted steel throughout. Externally, the refurbishment respects the existing building and is sensitive to the context. In a conservation area, the three-story building sits comfortably alongside the other buildings in the mews, with lead roofing and windows matching its neighbors’.
As a response to the challenge of building in a narrow mews, new structural elements were designed to be fabricated off-site and then “bolted” together on-site to maximize quality, reduce the installation period, construction waste, and noise. Inside, the client wanted private professional office spaces without detracting from the intimate, friendly atmosphere that is characteristic of the office and the domestic scale of the mews house. Through the simple differentiation by the level of public spaces on the ground floor, and private offices on the upper floors, all linked by an open stair with fully glazed screens, a sense of community is generated while maintaining privacy where required.
Previously a vacant shell, the refurbished property now completes the vibrant community of the mixed-use mews. A double set of glazed, folding garage-style doors allows light to flood in, and when fully opened in the summer, the doors create a seamless connection to the picturesque mews outside. The exposed soffit timbers in the 3.4m high ceiling create a sculptural element, with the large oak joists bringing depth to the interior. This boutique office has an authentic London character: a contemporary warm interior with ample daylight and views onto the mews.
Its flexible internal spaces, contemporary furniture, and zero carbon strategy make it a suitable project for the client’s London outpost. Edward Williams Architects has wide experience working across all sectors, both in the UK and abroad. The studio has worked on different building types, from single-family homes to major hospitals, from office interiors to major cultural projects and from sports venues to interiors and master plans. This diversity of experience geographically and between sectors allows the studio to deliver "best in class” design responses and solutions for clients worldwide and informs every design project.