St John Street, Clerkenwell
Use: Mixed (2 No. Residential + Commercial)
Originally a roof top extension for an eccentric owner-occupier to replace the existing mansard and add an additional storey on top, this project grew to incorporate the adjacent residential property as well as the commercial space to the rear.
The site is a mid-terrace four-storey building dating from the late 18th or early 19th century in the eclectic Clerkenwell Green Conservation Area. The buildings are true mixed use buildings, comprising of a restaurant at ground floor, office and residential units at first, second and third floors. The scheme proposes to improve the living standards of two existing dwellings, will double the floor space of the commercial space in an Employment Priority Area and will safeguard the future of a heritage asset within the Clerkenwell Green Conservation Area.
The replacement of the tatty, 80’s mansard to the third floor will be replaced with an aesthetically appropriate mansard roof faced in hanging slate, which will not jar with the historic fabric beneath whilst providing a more comfortable, warm and modern living accommodation. Furthermore, the replacement of the current mansard roof will end the years of water ingress which have continued to damage the fabric throughout all floors beneath.
The new top floor addition has a character and distinctiveness which has been informed by the St. John Street and Clerkenwell context in which the building sits, thus continuing the tradition of quirkiness and originality in the area – we considered it an inappropriate location to site just another glass box roof extension. Despite this, the new top floor has been set-back sufficiently so as to not be visible from the street below, and thus to maintain the original shop-front/brick upper floors/slate mansard ‘banding’ that is typified by this style of building. This also provides a new amenity space for each residential unit which at present neither residential property has the benefit of but which will add greatly to the enjoyment of the dwellings.
The re-building of the third floor commercial unit to the rear of 71-73 and the addition of a fourth floor on top ensures that the commercial use in the area thrives, in line with local legislation in an area identified as an Employment Priority Area. The creation of this additional floor space has been left flexible for subdivision in the near or distant future, and the new floor does not affect the surrounding streetscape nor does it create any overlooking or overshadowing issues sat within it’s tall neighbouring walls on either side.
The proposals ensure that the building maintains the area’s tradition of mixed use – leisure ground floor, with residential and commercial upper floors – and in doing so maintains the good condition and active use of the heritage asset, safeguarding it for future generations.