Unlocking Floorspace in Southwark

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Spratley Studios has completed the refurbishment and roof retrofit at Union House in Southwark for CBRE Global Investors and the building is ready to be let. Maximising the potential of this iconic, former warehouse building necessitated a thoughtful design that was respectful of the building’s identity and the heritage of its Southwark location. The end result is a unique and stylish refurbishment that has transformed the existing building and has maximised the lettable floorspace in this desirable area of London.

Sam Winstone, Senior Associate at CBRE Global Investors said “Our ambition for Union House was to deliver the maximum amount of contemporary, high-end, commercial office space within an historical building in the characterful Southwark neighbourhood. Realising the potential tied up in these older buildings and giving them a more sustainable future is compelling and Spratley Studios has once again done an incredible job refurbishing Union House and creating a unique identity for the building.”

Gregg Thatcher, Associate at Spratley Studios, said “The rooftop addition has gained an additional 634m² but the real success is that this was achieved without compromising the legacy of the existing building or the design intent of the modern addition. We worked closely with the planning office from the outset to get this right for CBRE and for Southwark. The building has a contemporary and high-end new look that will position it in the marketplace and as a working space will be highly desirable.”

The roof extension is a contemporary interpretation of the mansard roof and delivers an elegant aesthetic using zinc tiles on panels that sit distinctly against the original building. The lightweight, largely glazed and transparent structure is sympathetic to the existing building but the materials enable it to be read as a later addition. Shading from the solid infill panels reduces the solar gains allowing the south elevation to be environmentally functional and practical internally for the prospective users. Two new floors have been created in the space and an external terrace has also been added which is highly desired by tenants.

The reception and four floors were refurbished; creating high-specification and energy efficient working environments. The interior design and materials palette is in keeping with the building’s history as an industrial warehouse. Reclaimed steel doors and refurbished, riveted steel columns mix with clean white interiors to create a contemporary feel. The new reception area, signage and lighting help to brand the building, celebrating its heritage.


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