David Kohn Architects has completed the refurbishment for a former print works and sweet factory to make the White Building, a new cultural venue on the edge of the Olympic Park in east London.The building will house artists’ studios, a gallery, a cafe and a micro-brewery.
The project was won in completition, in collaboration with Exploration Architecture. The competition was organised by Design for London as part of the ‘Olympic Fringe’, a string of small projects intended to stitch the Park into the existing city fabric.
Working with a very limited budget, the architects introduced new blockwork walls to the ground floor incorporating steel-framed windows. The ground-floor was opened up to the canalside and a steel staircase connects the canalside to street level, one storey above.
On the first-floor, existing red-painted steel trusses supported an asbestos roof with no insulation. in order to improve thermal performance – and the appearance of the interior – without disturbing the asbestos, lambwool was suspended in red string nets to create soft ‘vaults’ between the trusses. Photos: Will Pryce.