Part of a larger masterplan, our brief was to design approximately 70 new flats, arts studios and shop units totalling 9,500 m2 GIA on a site sandwiched between the rear gardens of a terraced street and a large industrial building.

As the main entrance to the masterplan area, Plot 1 called for exemplary architectural design for a series of new and existing buildings. The new arts centre was to be tailored to its end-user. The residential units were a mix of one to three-bed flats and maisonettes. A central hub of circulation is accessed from the east, linking new and existing buildings. The route into the site is lined with display windows used by the gallery and artists, effectively signalling the site as a place for creative organisations and businesses.

The artists’ studios are in a range of sizes, while a large double-height exhibition space contains the Tannery Arts Drawing Room gallery, with ancillary spaces off it. The sawtooth roof profile containing north lights over the exhibition and studio spaces make their function legible and echo the site’s industrial context. At the same time, they allow natural light to reach deep into the plan, which keeps the spaces attractive to a range of different kinds of occupier.

Our design for the residential mostly dual-aspect units anchors the building in its industrial context, balancing the human scale with the large scale industrial unit surroundings. Clad in folding mesh panels to prevent summer overheating, they are mostly accessed through a generous, dramatic shared entrance lobby. As a large, complex scheme planned for phased completion, the project requires close collaboration. BIM allows for efficient coordination across the consultant team.


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Project credits


  • Director: Phil Coffey
  • Project Director: Lee Marsden
  • Associate: George Morgan
  • Architect: Will Chan
  • Architect: Ellen Ordell
  • Architect: Uli Kraeling
  • Architect: Annakaisa Haanpaa
  • Architect: Racquel Albarran
  • Architectural Assistant: Daniel Craig
  • Architectural Assistant: Joe Mercer
  • Architectural Assistant: David Deroo


  • Structural: Waterman
  • M&E: Desco
  • Acoustics: Paragon
  • Building Control: NHBC
  • Fire: FDS
  • Facade: Optimise
  • Landscape: Townshend
  • Masterplan: AHMM
  • Transport & Waste: WSP
  • Principal: Aecom

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