David Kohn Architects
39–51 Highgate Road
London NW5 1RT
+44 (0)20 7424 8596 tel
The White Building is a cultural venue in Hackney Wick commissioned by the London Legacy Development Corporation that forms part of the ‘Olympic Fringe’, a string of small-scale projects aimed at stitching the Olympic Park into the surrounding city fabric. The project was won through invited competition by David Kohn Architects in collaboration with Michael Pawlyn of Exploration Architecture, specialists in environmentally sustainable design.
The area is currently celebrated for being home to the highest concentration of artists' studios in Europe. The tenant, Space Studios, contributed to the competition brief that proposed a cultural venue to serve the existing community as well as provide a public face to visitors.
The built project used local businesses extensively for supplying materials and skills from glazing to sign-painting, steelwork to joinery. New interventions complimented the existing building fabric, such as blockwork walls on the ground floor that incorporated steel-framed windows. On the first floor, lambswool was suspended in red string nets between the existing trusses to create a soft vaulted ceiling with excellent thermal and acoustic properties. Throughout, our design approach sought to use conventional construction materials in a playful way. Material junctions were detailed in such a way as to give even the most industrial construction a lightness of touch.
Design: in collaboration with Michael Pawlyn, Exploration Architecture
Landscape: Muf architecture/ art
Structural Engineer: Alan Baxter Associates
Civils Engineer: Stockley
Services Engineer: Capita Symonds
Project Manager: Capita Symonds
CDM Co-ordinator: Capita Symonds
Cost Consultant: Sweett Group
Graphic Designer: Modern Activity
Photography: Will Pryce