An impressive Victorian Warehouse Refurbishment in the heart of East London.
80 Great Eastern Street is situated in the heart of the vibrant “Shoreditch Triangle” and forms part of the esteemed Shoreditch Conservation Area. Originally constructed around 1880, this five-storey building served as three Victorian showroom/warehouses primarily engaged in furniture manufacturing. According to Cherry and Pevsner, renowned architectural historians. Charles Bryant and the King Family undertook the construction of 76-82 Great Eastern Street between 1882 and 1884. Although architects did not participate in this venture, it remains one of the largest speculative developments in the area.
Driven by a vision to revitalize and transform the neighborhood, these developments brought about significant changes and opportunities for growth. They aimed to breathe new life into the area, enhancing its appeal and creating a thriving community. Victorian warehouses boasted shop-fronts that allowed customers to view and purchase products. While trades specializing in varnish, upholstery, and cabinet ironmongery operated in the “back of house” areas, the main focus of the development was on creating engaging and attractive spaces for public use.
In approximately 1980, a fire ravaged the original timber pitch slated roof and internal floors. Consequently, in 1985, planning approval was obtained to reinstate the damaged floors and construct a flat roof in place of the original pitched roof. Furthermore, the third and fourth floors underwent a change of use. Transforming into office spaces as part of the overall refurbishment plan. The ground, first, and second floors were designated for industrial use, while the basement served as a storage/warehouse area.
Regrettably, the original showroom-warehouse shop fronts on the ground floor were removed to accommodate the new offices. Leading to the loss of the building’s active street frontage. As a consequence, the area experienced a decline during the early to mid-1990s.Due to increased competition from cheaper manufacturing locations and improved mechanization. Consequently, many warehouses stood vacant. However, it was the adaptable nature of these buildings, particularly those associated with the furniture trade, that played a pivotal role in the area’s redevelopment. Their versatility for new uses, combined with the appealing scale of the streets and spaces. Contributed to the transformation of Shoreditch into a vibrant mixed-use area, encompassing small businesses, art galleries, restaurants, and bars. Developers quickly redeveloped warehouses throughout the vicinity, giving rise to the distinctive streetscape and scale that the Conservation Area proudly showcases today.
An opportunity arose when there was a pressing need for the Victorian warehouse refurbishment of the existing offices at 80 Great Eastern Street. The entire building underwent a comprehensive strip-out to create open-plan office spaces spanning four floors. In order to achieve a level threshold, a deliberate decision was made to lower the existing ground floor by approximately 1.2 meters from street level. This adjustment allowed for improved accessibility and a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Eliminating the need for a raised floor. In order to preserve the original ornate ironwork visible in the reception area. The head of the original beam, originally located in the basement, was encased in concrete.
Reflecting the building’s original purpose, an industrial palette of materials, including wood, steel, concrete, and brick, was utilized. The revamped building now offers a remarkable 40,259 square feet of space, with open-plan floor plates starting at 6,738 square feet. Thanks to its prime location and outstanding refurbishment, the building has attracted innovative tech companies. Leading to the popular nickname “Silicone Roundabout” for the nearby “Old Street Roundabout.”
The project posed immense challenges, requiring years of meticulous design, planning, and construction. Throughout the process, the building underwent significant upgrades to meet the demands of high-tech offices. Including the incorporation of advanced lighting systems, air conditioning, lifts, and firefighting cores. The final result is a stunning blend of offices, retail spaces, and restaurants, all refurbished to an exceptional standard. The restoration and refurbishment efforts have beautifully showcased the original brickwork and ironwork, with minimalist details enhancing the building’s authentic Victorian features.
We relocated the existing rooftop plant equipment to the basement, thereby creating an opportunity to convert the roof space into nine penthouse apartments. These exquisite penthouses are now available for viewing, offering a glimpse into the luxurious living experience they provide. Throughout the entire process, Paul, a director at Kyson, oversaw the project from concept to completion. Following the project’s conclusion, the client achieved record-breaking rental rates for the office spaces, and the project itself received a Highly Commended distinction for the CIAT award for Technical Excellence in 2013.
The exposed London Stock Brickwork, oak cladding, glass reinforced concrete reception desk, and visible services are elements that particularly captivate us. These architectural features contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal and add a touch of character and uniqueness to the space. The large sash windows on the upper floors flood the floorplates with an abundance of natural light. As an office environment, we firmly believe that this Victorian warehouse conversion of an original building offers far more than a new build office block. As part of the work, we made a separate application to utilize the existing roof space for the creation of penthouse apartments. This decision allowed us to maximize the use of available space and create luxurious residential units with stunning views.