The existing site is a Victorian building with a distinctive clock tower that has been a landmark on the Brixton skyline since 1880, when it opened as a hotel. The previous use of the building was a pub at ground floor and a hotel at the upper floors.
During the sixties and seventies, the building was also used as a popular music venue hosting famous musicians such as “The Sex Pistols”, “Jimi Hendrix” and “Bob Dylan”.
The existing building is located in a prominent corner on the southern side of Brixton Road and is crossed by a railway line at high level so that the site is comprised of two separate parts that are connected under the railway bridge.
Subsequently, the building was vacant for over 15 years and the proposal for its conversion is willing to make use of an existing neglected structure according to the current requirements in the area, taking an environmentally friendly approach.
The proposal aimed to convert the previously neglected existing building and to erect a two storey extension to the rear in order to provide 7 flats.
Externally, the project sought to reinstate and repair the architectural fabric of the existing building. In terms of the new extension, the new envelope was designed with a contemporary approach including extensive use of glass through the windows, glass doors, balustrades and generous roof lights.
An environmental noise survey was undertaken to measure the noise levels produce by the surrounding roads and train lines and mitigation measures were proposed to achieve acceptable internal noise levels including the use of acoustic glass and acoustic air bricks.
Furthermore, measurements of the vibration climate generated by the adjacent railway line were made. The measured vibration levels were assessed against currently available standards and the results showed that the presence of the nearby railway line would be likely to adversely affect the amenity of the future occupants. Therefore suitable vibration control measures were proposed to provide a reasonable mitigation of the predicted structure-borne noise.
The vibration-control measures taken aimed towards isolation efficiency near 85%-90%, in order to render the bulk of any vibro-acoustic energy, as low as practically possible. This has been achieved by isolating walls, ceilings and floor finishes from the main structure. Ceilings and walls were isolated by means of metal clips and channels and floors with a smart acoustic saddle deck system.
The project describes an intervention of high quality design that incorporates elements from conservation and new construction technologies to overcome a number of technical challenges given by the constrains of the site.
The proposal to upgrade the previously neglected existing site, injects a much needed positive uplift to the surrounding wider urban context.