Housing meets industrial heritage at Make Architects’ Asta House in London
The reimagining of an office building in central London by Make Architects, Asta House, combines contemporary housing and 1950s industrial heritage
Working with Derwent London, Make Architects has completed the full reimagining of an existing central London office building into contemporary housing. The project, Asta House, sits in Fitzrovia and involves the transformation of the building – which originally was created as an industrial structure in the 1950s – into a ‘high quality, sustainable mixed-use development.’
‘Asta House forms a significant part of the latest major mixed-use scheme known as 80 Charlotte Street which comprises commercial offices, private apartments including affordable residences, retail units and a new pocket park,’ says project architect Kunwook Kang.
Now, the redesigned scheme contains 36 residences, offering a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes. Two newly added storeys at the top provide space for a pair of penthouse apartments. The ground level includes a commercial space, which is now occupied by an architecture studio and a green, outdoors area.
‘The building is about contrast – old meets new, black against white, rough against smooth and matte against gloss. A play of distinct, yet complementary materials in colour and texture used throughout the design adopts a sophisticated industrial-chic styling for Fitzrovia’s eclectic feel,’ says Kang. And while things may have changed behind the frontage, the architects made sure to maintain as much of the original structure as possible as well as the historical facade, which was restored.
‘The newly converted Asta House with its mix of uses will enhance the vibrant local community, physically and socially, with new residential provision, animated street frontages, a new public space, and better legibility and connectivity at street level,’ adds Kang.
Interiors are pared down and bright, using light colours and a tactile material palette. Integrated joinery ensures clever storage solutions, allowing for flexible, open plan living areas. The apartments have also been designed to the Ecohomes standard, achieving an ‘Excellent’ rating. §