© AKT II / Jan Friedlein

Gazzano House

Amin Taha Architects spotted a single-storey delicatessen on Farringdon Road and realised the site had potential for residential accommodation above.

Achieving that potential called for considerable design and engineering ingenuity; the road is a Transport for London Red Route, the Metropolitan line running beneath causes ground complexities, and new building regulations make acoustic standards in residential buildings more onerous than previously. On top of that the design had to evoke a suitably contemporary image for this generic 21st-century urban site notably in the window pattern and Corten steel cladding.

Ground and party wall conditions meant that piling was the only possible strategy for foundations, while a frame of steel columns and precast concrete planks condensed the depth of the floor sandwich, with appropriate sound insulation, enough to get five floors above ground within the overall height limit, making a viable number of units and leaving the basement and ground levels for the delicatessen. The structure also allowed for windows to wrap around the corner with loads carried on long cantilevers.

Five-storey residential development above an existing café

London, UK
Amin Taha Architects
£ 2. 5 million
  • 2005 RIBA Award
  • 2005 AJ First Building Award