Derelict glasshouse in London transformed by up-and-coming architects HASA
As seen in the Wallpaper* September Style Special (W*246)
HASA Architects has transformed a derelict glasshouse into a modern, minimalist event space in a north London former nursery. Drawing on their fascination for beautiful sites and unconventional projects, the team of architects – headed by Charlotte Harris and Mark Stevens – worked to adjust, expand and bring the existing structure to the 21st century; all set amid a leafy landscaped site by designers Buono Gazerwitz Landscape Architecture.
The architects approached the current owners, Karen and Lekhu Pagarani, in 2017, proposing the update of the neglected glasshouse in Highgate, and despite time and budgetary constraints, they created a striking space that combines glass and birch plywood. The ply panels are finished in white Osmo oil for a light, smooth feel, while careful detailing and architectural gestures, such as replacing the original doors with plywood ones, create a sense of seamlessness and coherence throughout.
The simple nature of the original architecture served as a source of inspiration, so the interiors are now suitably clean and uncluttered – fittingly so, for a multi-functional space that caters for a range of activities, from talks to exhibitions and other private and community events. Flexibility was key and the architects went back a few months after completion to adapt the space even further, adding a functioning kitchen to the mix.
Now, the glasshouse at Omved Gardens is a thriving place for inspiration and events of all kinds, and its contemporary, well thought out architecture plays a key role in that. ‘The project aims to explore the possibilities of this forgotten piece of the city’, say the architects on their website; and it sounds like thanks to their design, this architectural space is now back at the heart of the local community. §