L-shaped in plan , the brick building was constructed in 1898 as a warehouse , but later became a storage facility for a department store. It was converted into artist studios in the 1990s.
"After a century of renovations , the exterior was in rough shape , the interior was congested and convoluted and the building seemed slated for demolition ," said Architects.
The project involved fully refurbishing the building , and transforming it into an office and retail space.The team started by stripping away elements that had been added over the years , returning the building to its original state.
The team then added a circulation volume in steel and glass , which aims to "honour the industrial vernacular of the area". Constructed on the side of the building , the new volume improves flow and unifies the varying floors.
New construction is denoted by grey brick , which contrasts with the existing buff brick.Studio and office spaces occupy the upper levels , framed by original brick walls and heavy timber beams. High ceilings , open floors and generous windows make the workspaces "ideally suited to tenants from the creative and technology industries".
The architects said the project demonstrates the value of adaptively reusing old buildings. "The true meaning and value of heritage is not the restoration of existing bricks and mortar , but a repositioning which gives new life , new relevance and usefulness for the future ," they said.