David Adjaye

Dirty House . London

David Adjaye

The Dirty house and studio occupy the remains of a public house on a side street in Shoreditch. The majority of openings in the older building have been reused but the proportional balance between solid and void has been altered, in favour of solid, by extending the walls upwards to form a parapet on the top floor.

The owners are two artists, Sue Webster and Tim Noble, who needed purpose­designed studio space and a place to live. In order to avoid any sense of tedium through living and working in the same environment, the two types of accommodation are quite separate. The studio spaces occupy the volume of the older building in an en filade arrangement that is entered through a tall lobby. With tinted reflective glass, the studios are private from the street. On the top floor, the living space occupies a central position and is surrounded on three sides by the main bedroom and a roof terrace.
The columns of the new steel structure, reinforcing the existing walls and supporting the top floor, are located on the inside face of the external walls. There is also an additional layer of thermal insulation in this position and the increased wall thickness is visible in the greater depth of the window openings. The openness of the living area is complemented by the containment of the main bedroom, although both spaces make use of rooflights to augment the level of natural light in the depth of the section.

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