London, UK. 2008-12


Archway Studios

The PROJECT

Archway Studios is a live-workspace built in and around a 19thC rail viaduct. The project works with the constraints of an inner-city, industrial site next to a train line, and the challenges of a fortified design that engages its surroundings.

Archway Studios is a live-workspace next to a 19thC rail viaduct. The building’s billowing shape bounces daylight into a railway arch
An outer concave wall scoops, captures and consolidates daylight
Daylight is scooped into the deep recesses of the arch from an outer concave wall

 

London is crossed by Victorian viaducts carving through residential areas. These elevated structures are significant physical barriers, often forming corridors of conflict, compounded by derelict, de-industrialised arches at ground level.

Archway Studios occupies part of a rail viaduct; a vaulted workshop linked to an atrium with residential alcoves. The design works with the contrast between the compressed, cavernous qualities of the arch – and the slender, ecclesial spaces of the atrium.

The site is severely constrained by its narrow plot and limited access to light, aspect and views. The building subverts these tight site conditions, encapsulating light and lofty interiors that offer release in spite of constraint.

A ring of slender steel foils mould the narrow site, forming a protective acoustic shell cupped around interior spaces. Daylight is scooped into the deep recesses of the arch through slits in the segmented foils, providing privacy and introspection while maintaining connections with the surroundings.

The building’s unique design and appearance helps it to stand out even when dwarfed by inner-city neighbours. As one of 10,000 arches that dissect neighbourhoods across London, it is a model that can be adapted for broad community benefit.

The site is severely constrained by its narrow plot and limited access to light, aspect and views
The building subverts tight site conditions, encapsulating light and lofty interiors that offer release in spite of constraint
The compressed, cavernous qualities of the railway arch is contrasted with slender, ecclesial spaces of an atrium

A ring of slender steel foils mould the narrow site, forming a protective acoustic shell cupped around interior spaces
Daylight floods the building and is pulled into the arch

The building’s unique design and appearance helps it to stand out even when dwarfed by inner-city neighbours

 

Project Team

Undercurrent Architects : Didier Ryan, Alessandra Gianotti

Eckersley O’Callaghan Engineers : Rutger Snoek, Marcin March

Munro Acoustics : Phil Pyatt

Photography : Candice Lake

Learn more

london House of YEar 2013

Behind the scenes

Policy Context

Behind the scenes

Design Footnotes

Behind the scenes

Fabrication

Behind the scenes

site construction

Behind the scenes

Technical

Behind the scenes

Archway studios

By Phillip Sinden

Archway studios

By Cecilie

Arch-within-arch

Projects

council changes planning law

News

Archway Studios

by Taran Wilkhu

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