Our client leased from Network Rail three listed railway arches under the Overground viaduct in Dalston. We had successfully worked together on a residential scheme nearby and recognised the growing demand for social and entertainment amenities in this area of new housing developments for urban professionals. Since our intervention, the remaining arches in Acton Mews have been developed adopting the same approach to facades and servicing strategy.
The arches, and Network Rail, demanded minimal architectural intervention. All internal structures are built up off the floor, the external facades touch the existing fabric lightly, whilst being robust and secure.
Demountable, surface mounted servicing only was permissible, so the biggest challenge was to create comfortable, well-lit, well-ventilated and thermally controlled environments for the dancers, café patrons and caterers, with minimal means. Acoustic glass reduces high frequency external noise to acceptable levels and the intermittent low frequency rumble from the trains is tolerated as part of the unique ‘creative cave’ ambience of the arches.
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