Black Stone Building, London

2017

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Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.

riba London Award 2018

riba House of the Year 2018 (nomination)

Three apartments nestle tightly into an irregular corner plot in North London, which has, over the years, housed a brickyard, a butcher, a mechanic and a clock shop. The client – an artist and restaurateur – briefed 6a with a series of her own photographs depicting the stacking of everyday objects. These in turn prompted an approach based on repetition and adjustment within the odd geometry of the site. Seen from the street, a stucco facade masks the complex unfolding of spaces within. 

Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.

Four floors are bound together by two concrete columns that rise through the building and help to define the primary rectangular living space from which other rooms unfold to fit the site. Each two-bedroom apartment is approximately 100m2, yet each has its own distinct spatial world. The semi-basement apartment draws daylight into a central living room via a top-lit double-height kitchen and walled courtyards, while the first floor flat provides lateral views through the width of the apartment. The top two floors form one apartment where courtyards of the lower floor are replaced by a brass-lined loggia. A double-height living space connects with bedrooms in the roof where a secret courtyard hides behind the parapet. 

Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2018.
Black Stone Building, London, 2018.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2018

Although spatially different, the three apartments share common themes, variations of which play out over all four floors. Loggias and terraces in each apartment form external rooms set within the building’s footprint. Fenestration allows a diverse array of views – of sky and garden, as well as wider vistas of North London and street scenes below. The concrete frame and slabs are the raw canvas on which lime-slurried walls, Douglas-fir plywood and ceramics add informal texture and warmth.

Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Photograph by Jess Blackstone.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017. Photograph by Johan Dehlin.
Black Stone Building, London, 2017.
Lime stucco toolkit, 2014.

Structural Engineers: Price & Myers
Environmental Engineers: Max Fordham
Quantity Surveyor: Artelia
Main Contractor: John Perkins Projects