Derbyshire Street project was a renovation and extension of a Victorian industrial building in Bethnal Green, London, to form a collection of office units for small businesses. 

As a former cabinet makers and latterly a group of artists studios the existing texture of the building was maintained and highlighted, retaining exposed brickwork and replacing Victorian steel windows. Structural steel required to stabilise and extend the building was left exposed and painted. Individual units were given flexibly serviced, simple, raw spaces with light and character. 

Shared elements within the buildingwere built to propogate a community – a courtyard roof terrace, and a new open staircase and double height communal hall giving access to all units. 

Planning permission was gained to add a new floor to the building. Three large simple roof trusses supported on the existing strengthened steel structure and raised brick saw tooth side walls, bring a new dimension. Rooflights running the full width of the building bring daylight into the heart of the plan and set back units at roof level enjoy views over the city park in front. 

New materials – black painted timber wall linings and phenolic faced plywood flooring are detailed to give the building a fresh identity with strong connections to its past. 

Completion 2003

Burd Haward Marston Architects
for Marston Properties
Structural Design by Price and Myers
Construction by Rooff Ltd
Photography by Helene Binet