This project reworks an old industrial building which had been previously redeveloped and divided into four independent dwellings. The inherited multi-level existing condition was large in area, but containing many difficult spaces and little or no direct sunlight or sense of the outside world.
The design approach to the alterations emphasises verticality and connection to the sky, establishing direct circulation connections and open, large scale spaces. We were interested in trying to regain some of the spatial character and non-specific flexibility of the warehouse.
Landscape is of equal importance to architecture in strategic intent: the new vertical garden on the rear south-facing wall incorporates a specially designed stacked soil planter system. Steel wall stiffening members are double-used as structural support for a new stair which in turn becomes a climbing frame for plants, with integrated trellis mesh and netting balustrades. The new stair is suspended from the vertical garden wall, allowing light to pass through to plants below. The intent of new architectural elements is to be delicate and ornamental, lighter than the plants themselves.