Coffey Architects has captured the attention of the RIBA Awards once again with two projects: the Hidden House and their competition-winning scheme for the Science Museum Research Center, which were both shortlisted in the 2017 London Awards. Before that, Coffey Architects' stunning and highly acclaimed Modern Mews house was nominated as a finalist for the RIBA 2016 House of the Year.
Located in London's highly sensitive Clerkenwell Green Conservation Area, the one-story Hidden House sits demurely atop former prison vaults of the Grade II-listed Clerkenwell House of Detention. Coffey Architects also successfully completed the Science Museum Dana Research Center after they were selected to design the new library space in 2014, a major part of the Museum's ongoing revitalization plan.
Scroll down for a glimpse of both projects.
Project description: “The [one-story] home sits above former prison vaults belonging to the Clerkenwell House of Detention, built in 1847, and next to a former Victorian School, Kingsway Place. Both are Grade II listed buildings.”
“Previously occupied by a caretaker’s shed, the site is defined by a tall perimeter brick wall, in which the design carefully carves a space for the new residential dwelling, nestling itself respectfully next to and above its prominent neighbour, hidden from view – a primary consideration when considering any development on this extremely sensitive site.
The interior of the home is defined also as a perimeter wall of oak panelling, upon which sits a floating transparent punched roof, delineating living spaces below, bathed in light.”
“Ocular rooflights allow views to the sky and to the heavy decoration of the adjacent elevation of the former school building, whilst the vertical sliding doors in the front elevation reveal views into a large well-kept shared garden. The small home enjoys two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a living/dining kitchen area with its own small private external space.”
Science Museum Dana Research Center
Project description: “The Centre occupies two floors of the Science Museum's Wellcome Wolfson Building. Thousands of tiny openings in the canopy above the main reading room creates a calm, light-filled environment.”
“The dappled light effect was inspired by the contemplative conditions that might have been experienced by Isaac Newton while he sat under the apple tree,” the architects write. “This double-height canopy also filters sound, as well as views to the landscape outside. Timber-lined bookshelves, walls and desks ensure that researchers can work in a naturally warm and welcoming setting.”
“The central reading room houses the main library activities, with a staircase providing access to the bright upper mezzanine with common room and staff areas above, while below a timber-lined research bar and private study areas are located amongst the main bookstacks.”
The new Centre allows staff, academics, and the general public to gain access to the more than 500,000 items contained within the Wroughton Library for casual and research purposes. It is a major part of the Science Museum's ongoing revitalization plan, which will include new galleries and improved connections on campus through 2019.
In case you missed it, check out the full 2017 RIBA London Awards shortlist in the link below.
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