The design embraces East London and the original intent of the buildings yet creates little moments of luxury amongst its raw quality.
Matt Yeoman, founding partner of BuckelyGrayYeoman (BGY), a Shoreditch-based UK Top 50 architectural practice, has been involved in the architecture and master planning of Long & Waterson from the very start. Having taken the scheme through planning, BGY’s design ethos is now being realised as construction at Long & Waterson begins in earnest.
The design of the new Waterson Building was heavily influenced by the ethos of the modern architectural movement as seen in the existing two former workshop buildings. Internally the apartments have clean, simple lines and the penthouses have floor-to-ceiling windows. Externally, the brick work and windows, which are the trademark of the existing scheme, are expressed in the façade of the new building and so old and new sit elegantly side by side. Matt’s way of describing the overall concept is ‘complex simplicity’. He says, “we wanted to get the basics right; the orientation of the new build, a complimentary façade – the simplicity – but yet we still wanted to add something special. That’s where the complexity comes in. In the small attention to detail and the thoughtfulness of the design.”
This is evident throughout; the creation of a raised podium has provided an elevated usable space (see article by Alexandra Steed on page 28) that will be light and bright; a moment of calm in this urban location. The amenities are all situated over the ground and lower ground floors of The Waterson Building. As you enter, you’re greeted by a 24-hour concierge in the welcoming lobby and library – a comfortable nook to wait for your guests or to chill out in. On the lower ground floor, you’ll find a spacious gym with state-of-the-art equipment and masses of natural light, with floor-to-ceiling glass providing views out into a sunken garden. Alongside the gym are both wet and dry saunas and a bookable treatment room. The cinema room is an intimate space – you will be able to rent a film through a pay-per-view service or use your Sky card. Have friends over or meet up with your neighbours and kick back in this great setting.
Fletcher Priest, a cosmopolitan, award-winning architectural practice has carefully developed the design post planning. Once again with the ethos of the 1950s modernist architecture and the heritage of the site
in mind – workmanship in leather, wood carving and turning and tailoring. The original architecture of 1-3 Long Street and 5-9 Long Street very much lent itself to use as workshops, the original brickwork and window settings have been retained. Sara L’Esperance, of Fletcher Priest says, “we have taken the original intent of raw and serviceable cores through into the apartment design. This means that within the refurbished apartments there are functional elements – kitchens, bathrooms and storage – in one zone, and living spaces falling into the other zones. These zones act as objects within the apartments, separating private and public spaces for functional yet beautiful living.”
Furthermore, the finishes pay homage to the original workshops. Working in parallel with ODA and very closely with IGI Group, Sara says, “we have captured the raw quality of the buildings in the finishes – less is more – enhancing old features and re-inserting newer ones, taking our cue from cabinet makers and metal craftsmen.” To this end, new ‘glass boxes’ will sit atop the existing buildings and will create an entirely new architectural piece, crowning the strong workshops with delicate gems providing spacious terraces and enviable views.
The careful master planning and design will ensure the scheme has personality, offers choice and will be an integrated and interesting place to live.
For more information about our scheme, see our flats in Shoreditch.