Iain Carson @ Allies & Morrison
AWARD: RIBA DofE Housing Design Award
Working with Allies & Morrison, No 1 Prince of Wales Road was originally built in 1927 to house the newly founded North London Polytechnic. The brick building has an air of splendour, clean lines and symmetry are organised about a generous lobby and entrance - substantial pilasters flanking the glazed entrance, ornate glass and fine attention to detail.
This conversion to sixty flats and maisonettes restores the clarity of the existing building and returns its original organisation - easily read, familiar and domestic. Rather than retain corridor access to the lower floors, all flats at ground and first floors are reached by collegiate style staircases from the newly restored courtyards. Rooms could therefore face both the courtyards and the street. On the second floor however, the original pattern of access from a grand staircase is preserved. Here maisonettes have been carved out of the extended existing roofspace, which at their upper level, open out onto terraces, which overlook the courtyards.
Although layouts vary, each living space is seen as an open piece that sits discretely into the existing building. The minimalist contemporary kitchens/ installations provide function juxtaposed against the detail of the Inter-war period building.
Following discussions with Camden, affordable housing has been designed as a discrete terrace on the site, facing onto Castlehaven Road. This housing was constructed separately by a Housing Association.