Offices and Warehouse
Designed as a warehouse and headquarters for a manufacturer of domestic textiles this frugal, yet imaginative solution was offered by northern firm Studio Baad. Known for their pop edge, Studio Baad here created a fun building in a rugged urban quarter where the principal construction considerations usually include cost and security. These factors were not ignored, but embedded in the solution. The scaled up ‘cigar holder’ of silver corrugated steel provides a defensive surface that is virtually impossible to climb and the space is top lit by cylindrical roof windows. The notion of protection is further alluded to by the provision of a small linear pond, or moat, to the front. Budget restrictions meant that the junctions, detailing and enclosure of elements was not possible and this was explored as an interior aesthetic by the architect; finishes include profiled cladding, steel wire, studded rubber, blockwork and orientated strand board in a distinctly post-post modern, slightly deconstructivist style. The building has changed hands since completion and the formal and material qualities feel slightly dated, but at a time when the UK was headed full on into recession this succinct exercise delivered on design quality and cost. The pure form of the tube has been rudely interrupted by the addition of windows by a new tenant.