The East London real estate market is hot property at the moment, so maximising one's space is a clever move for the savvy homeowner. Which is exactly what the founder of the Roman Road Gallery just did, opting to commission emerging London practice Threefold architects to both redesign and expand their space in the heart of Bethnal Green.
The brief was challenging, which the architects, headed by Matthew Driscoll, Jack Hosea and Renee Searle, fully embraced. The client – the gallery's owner and curator – needed to create a new art space which would be linked to their house and garden. The two wings – art and residential – needed to connect effortlessly, as parts of the house should be able to act as an extension of the gallery, when needed.
The site was narrow, knitting together an existing two storey Victorian workshop and a former commercial premises. The redesign involved a complete transformation and unification of these buildings, with the addition of a single story extension in 'contrasting back bricks and glass', they explain.
The building opens onto a brick paved courtyard, making this a great clearing for sculpture display. A material palette of masonry walls and corten metal panels hint to the site's industrial heritage. This outdoors area can be directly accessible from the street via bespoke brick entrance gates, which when shut, appear near-invisible.
A dark, folded steel staircase leads up to the office space and private viewings room. The client's bedroom and bathroom are also on this level, discretely hidden from view.
Merging natural, tactile materials with large openings and airy, double height spaces, this new live/work project combines art and home life in seamless harmony.