Make Architects’ Eight Artillery Row
The recently completed Eight Artillery Row has been “an exercise in reimagining”, says Make Architects. An existing 1980s office building close to London’s Victoria Station has been refurbished and extended to provide eight residential floors and ground-floor retail space.
The building was stripped back to its primary structure, and three new floors added to provide 22 apartments, including a double-height penthouse. The original frame is supplemented by a new steel structure, threaded through the building to support the extra storeys and founded on new piles in the existing basement.
The material palette of brick, bronze and slate, and many design details, draw on the examples of fine historic buildings within the surrounding conservation areas.
The former lead mansard roof and dormer windows were replaced with a set-back, curved roof form inspired by nearby Victorian warehouses and the steep slate roofs of Artillery Row. Curved rooflights at the top are hidden from view at ground level by louvres that give the appearance of a continuous slate roof, as well as providing solar shading to the penthouse apartment.
The roof is double-curved at each corner, with curves in plan and section accommodated by reducing the sizes of slate tiles, which were hand-cut on site to ensure a precise fit. A new south-facing, metal-clad belvedere provides views to Battersea Park.
The facade design makes extensive use of custom-made elements, ranging from handmade brick to cast bronze metalwork. Hand-laid brickwork, intended to engender a “sense of permanence and weight”, features 65 brick specials, finished with light wood flour by manufacturer Charnwood to give a smooth-textured effect reminiscent of the brickwork on adjacent warehouses.
A contemporary clock, 2.2m in diameter, was set into the building’s curved corner and doubles as a window to the living room of the apartment behind. Its design plays with the idea of concentric circles; the hands are fixed to the outer rings, pointing inwards.
Cast and patinated bronze elements are used throughout the scheme as balustrades, ventilation grilles and as a decorative screen next to the residential entrance. They feature a bespoke pattern created by abstracting images found in the cast metalwork of historic local buildings.
Victoria Property Holdings
Ground floor brickwork
Upper level brickwork
Brick substructure and balcony columns
IG Masonry Support
Cast iron air bricks
Cast Iron Air Brick Company