North Acton, London

Rehearsal Rooms

Rehearsal Rooms, a residential-led mixed-use development, is one of the first completed in London as a bespoke private rented sector (PRS) product. Detailed treatment of metalwork throughout the project made it a clear winner of the GAGA 2018 Duplex award.

Rising above the tree-topped embankment of North Acton tube station, the building forms part of an emerging neighbourhood and provides 173 flats. Designed around the needs of a fast-growing tenure, the scheme sets a benchmark by meeting social and services requirements at a local level.

The scheme makes extensive use of roof areas as shared gardens. Clever internal layout results in spacious rooms whilst also providing ancillary services: common areas, a concierge service and a function room. The rational plan and the elegant elevations are integral to one another addressing form and function simultaneously, so that the geometry and detail of the distinctive balconies is as much about providing privacy and views as it is about rhythm, articulation and visual interest. Views through open-plan layouts emphasise space and light and allow connections from inside to the generous balconies.

The longevity of metalwork, which plays a key part in the elevations, was achieved by galvanizing and then powder coating. Detailed treatment of the steel railings complements the form of the concrete balconies.

A varying spacing of the 42 mm diameter tubular steel uprights, from close together to further apart, has both a visual and practical purpose, creating interest and making certain parts of the balcony feel more enclosed. The design is replicated around openings generally and for gates and shading of uppermost windows. Light and view through ‘Juliet balcony’ railings to all windows, is maximised by using finer uprights that almost disappear in a building of this scale.

Architect: Newground Architects

Image: Jack Hobhouse

Posted on August 28, 2018 by Galvanizers Association

Read next…

ArtLab, Switzerland

The campus of the École Polytechnique Fédérale elite university in Lausanne, Switzerland has been extended by another spectacular building. In the immediate vicinity of SANAA‘s Rolex Learning Center and Dominique Perrault‘s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, stands ArtLab, designed by Kengo…

Read more

Boiled Lobster

Boiled Lobster, a 3 m high sculpture was created for the Staithes Arts & Heritage Festival. The sculpture took centre stage in the historic fishing village on the North Yorkshire coast to highlight its past and present fishing industry. The…

Read more

Old Shed New House

‘Old Shed New House’ is a home nestled within the agricultural landscape of North Yorkshire. The client sought a high quality, energy-efficient and low-cost building to serve as a house, library and gallery. Its sublime use of materials made it…

Read more

Residential complex, Switzerland

A typical concrete residential block or inspirational design? On first glance the answer could easily be the former, for a new residential complex built in Winterthur, Switzerland. Its vertical façade consists of galvanized steel, glass and raw concrete built on…

Read more