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The Record Hall

  • View of The Record Hall from Baldwin’s Gardens

  • Sectional sketch showing the central lightwell

  • Sectional model, 1:100

  • View of the central lightwell looking out onto basement level

  • View looking through the central lightwell from the first floor circulation space

  • Upward view of existing stairwell

  • View of existing stairwell with refurbished brickwork

  • View of the main entrance space

  • Demolition of the north façade

  • Isometric section of building façade

  • Façade model, 1:100

  • View of the façade and main entrance from Baldwin’s Gardens

  • View of the façade and main entrance from Baldwin’s Gardens

  • Elevated view of The Record Hall looking east

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Client
Workspace
Borough
The London Borough of Camden
Location
EC1N
Status
Completed 2017
Scale and use
0.18ha, 8,500sqm creative workspaces, café 

The Record Hall extends and refurbishes an outmoded 1920s industrial building to create a dedicated hub for creative‑media enterprise. The project is located in the Hatton Conservation Area in Holborn, Central London which has been the historic centre of the UK’s jewellery trade since the 18th century, but has in recent years evolved to encompass a variety of creative businesses. Our ambition was to create a space that felt more active and open to different industries, while retaining space for low‑cost jewellery workshops throughout.

Formed of two distinct parts, the building is located on a tight urban site amongst the narrow streets of Leather Lane. Apart from the labyrinthine and run‑down interiors, the building’s original street‑facing elevation felt like it was the back with no clear entrance and a large part of the ground floor was occupied by a car park. 

As part of the project, our work involved bringing clarity to the previously incoherent building to make it more habitable and support different types of working. By extending it outwards to the site boundary line we were able to completely reorganise the building’s interior with a generous circulation space provided around a single lightwell, with direct views through to a new and re‑located main entrance. 

The building’s stepped profile is used to form a variety of workspaces, from small jewellery units in the basement, ground and first floors, to medium‑sized units around the perimeters of the middle floors defined by the pre‑existing structural grid. Large, open plan spaces are placed on the upper two floors with shared roof terraces above.

A pre‑cast redbrick façade which is seamlessly integrated with the original building fabric creates a strong and robust new public frontage. Thoughtfully designed, the façade features deep brickwork piers and chamfered spandrels to give the building presence when viewed obliquely down the adjacent narrow street. At roof level, anodised aluminum cladding provides order to a complex set of building volumes and helps to redefine the building in the townscape. Throughout the project, old and new elements are carefully combined to celebrate the historic character of the original building.  

Design Team

Structures
Thornton Tomasetti
Civils
Thornton Tomasetti
M&E
Max Fordham 
Planning
Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, Lichfields
Contractor
HG Construction

Awards

Civic Trust Awards 2019 ‑ Regional Finalist
New London Awards 2018 ‑ Conservation & Retrofit ‑ shortlist
Brick Awards 2018 ‑ Worldwide category ‑ shortlist
Buildings Awards 2018 ‑ Refurbishment Project of the Year ‑ shortlist

Photography

Agnese Sanvito (architectural models), Emmanuel Stasaitis, Mark Hadden
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