Peter Cook has just produced another remarkable set of photographs for us, showing how the urban quality of the north end of Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, in East London, has been transformed by our low energy development, which combines traditional fabric materials, modern techniques, a significant enhancement of conditions for biodiversity, and a massive increase in commercial and lettable floor space for the benefit of the freeholder, a property investment trust.
More photos here, including the buildings that were on the site previously, illustrating how a massive transformation in floorspace, triple glazed sash windows, and insulated brick walls with rubbed lime mortar are all features that are entirely compatable with enhancing the public space.
The only regrettable thing is that the roof mounted solar panels had to be rearranged in a somewhat disorderly manner after a member of the public (an architect!) complained that he could see solar panels on the roof of the building! What a crazy world we live in, where an honest, public expression of the need to address our country's excessive and growing carbon emissions is regarded as offensive!
On a more positive note, after months of tortuous negotiations with Islington Council to first be allowed to install double glazed sash windows in the new brick building, we then commenced further negotiations, and in the end 'even' got permission for triple glazed sash windows. At the time Islington Council were very nervous, and made a particular note that in granting this permission for triple glazed windows in a conservation area, that nobody should consider this to be a precedent. Now, we are very pleased to report that Islington Council's senior design and conservation officer has described the windows, the brickwork and the facades in general as a triumphant success, and the techniques that we specified in the brickwork in particular are now referred to by the Council as a recommended precedent in negotiations with other architects.
All due credit should be given to Firmco Ltd, an excellent, traditional construction company, committed to traditional and modern aspects of build-quality, with a skilled labour force led by knowledgeable and experienced site management staff.