Youth Art Center in Camden
The proposal is a cultural and architectural regeneration of the former Elephant House Brewery and Cooper’s building (Grade II listed buildings) in the busy area of Camden Town, in London. The scheme provides an opportunity to culturally regenerate Camden by creating a permanent sustainable solution for the young artistic community and encouraging public interaction and exchange with the arts along the Regent’s Canal waterway.
The scheme focuses on two main domains:
- The Arts – to establish a facility for the Youth Creative Community of Camden along the inspiring environment of the natural infrastructure.
- The Public – the provision of space for public by considering the canal as a ‘slow-space’.
The existing building is extended to provide not only art studio spaces but also exhibition areas. The new build is a steel-framed construction, a lightweight structure in order to maintain the original condition of the listed buildings. Taking advantage of the lock located right in front of the site the public space is extended on an elevated level providing views to the east and west of the canal.
An important aspect of the site are the elevations of the buildings next to it. The MTV building on the right and the Grimshaw’s Grand Union Walk Housing on the left, both follow a repetitive pattern along the canal. One of the main structural aims is to continue this repetitiveness in the project’s elevation, by proposing uniform pitched roofs for the art studio spaces.
The middle body of the building is connecting the two elevations with a larger pitched roof that enclose an atrium space and terraces on every floor facing the canal. Vertically growing vegetation is proposed on the elevation of these terraces. In order no to place any columns on the exterior of the existing facades a roof truss is spanning above the wall that encloses the atrium.