Two new design jewels unveiled in the heart of Clerkenwell

Ben Adams Architects (BAA) has completed two striking refurbishments, in the heart of the so-called ‘architect’s square mile’, Clerkenwell – at 56-60 St John Street and Klamath House, 18 Clerkenwell Green, EC1.

St John Street has undergone a dramatic 5-storey refurbishment and extension, with unusual black metal cladding on its facade bringing it to prominence on this design-focused street with neighbours the Farmiloe Building and multiple design showrooms. It shows little evidence of the drab, unremarkable 1970s office building it once was just 2 years ago.

BAA have given it a complete facelift to raise its street profile, while significantly improving the thermal performance of the façade. At ground floor a newly refurbished reception featuring black stained timber wall panels and a new fully glazed shop front – now inhabited by high-end tile manufacturer Royal Mosa – improve connectivity to the street.

At roof level, 100m² of new high quality office space has been added, with a carefully considered black zinc clad extension with full height glazing towards the East and West. A slim panoramic window on the south elevation frames a view of St Paul’s Cathedral on the horizon, while minimising heat gain in the overall extension envelope and concealing views of unsightly low level roof plant on the adjacent building. BAA successfully secured planning approval for this, in an area where roof top extensions are now rarely granted.

Ben Grant, Client – R & I Grant & Co Ltd:

“We loved the refurb so much, we decided to stay in the building and take the top two floors! We have been overwhelmed with positive feedback from existing and new tenants and visitors to the building – with new space let just weeks after completion.”

Klamath House, continues this high-end design theme. BAA’s 6-storey office building refurbishment and fit-out has completely revitalised the double aspect building. Clerkenwell Green sits to the front of the building and Clerkenwell Road to the rear.

The external envelope of the building looked dated with a stepped central glazed area. This has now been entirely re-glazed and the stepped facade simplified, creating an elegant elevation onto Clerkenwell Green.

The internal floor plates have been extended to create a more efficient layout. The atrium has been re-glazed and redesigned to dramatic effect, creating a light interior space with exposed services and painted concrete soffits.

Ben Adams, Director, Ben Adams Architects:

“It is very rewarding to be able to add value – and beauty – to a pair of buildings that have been neglected for some time – not to mention a challenge to us as designers to raise the game in such an acclaimed design district! We have significantly raised their visual presence in the neighbourhood – a key aim of both projects.”