A once-forgotten derelict warehouse has been transformed into a unique, doubleheight two-bedroom house by the owner/architect who wanted to bring life back to this forgotten structure. Tucked away behind one of Hackney, London’s busiest high streets, the former school-house was discovered by architect James Davies of Paper House Project, who decided to restore and convert the building as a personal project. Although a big financial risk for the young architect, Davies saw the potential in the derelict property and wanted to create a light-filled space he could enjoy that represented everything about why he went into architecture.
This was no ordinary refurbishment and conversion project due to its proximity within a residential courtyard. After extensive residential re-developments in the surrounding area, the ‘Defoe Road’ property had been landlocked inside a courtyard, difficult to access and in need of a full refurbishment. Davies negotiated the purchase price, right of way and service connections all before planning permission was received. Limited access through a gated entrance at the very heart of a community area, made it difficult for large vehicles to enter the site and the close proximity of neighbours made it important to limit disruption where possible.