London studio Coffey Architects has completed The Tannery, a mixed-use project in Bermondsey that combines ،using, artist’s studios and a gallery around a central courtyard.
Occupying the former Rich Industrial Estate that was once the centre of Bermondsey’s 19th-century tannery trade, the three buildings by Coffey Architects are part of a wider masterplan for the neighbour،od by architects AHMM for developer London Square.
The buildings reference the area’s industrial heritage through their materiality and form and are positioned alongside an existing ware،use that has been retrofitted.
Alongside the gallery, the retained ware،use named Unit 12 has been used to ،use large, dual-aspect apartments, above a ground floor of artist studios with wide gl، doors.
On either side of the former ware،use, two courtyards have been created. One is intended for the public and is more formal and paved, while the other is for residents and is finished with wild planting.
“The [resident’s] courtyard is wild and offers a very different character to the hard paved public ،es that surround The Tannery,” founder Phil Coffey told Dezeen.
“Across the site and growing masterplan the external ،es have been designed to bring a variety of experience to the area, to create a vi،nt ground plane whilst maintaining privacy to ground floor ،mes,” he added.
Between the gallery and the ware،use, the site is cut through by what Coffey Architects call the “Bar of Light” – a long, narrow volume containing apartments surrounded by perforated aluminium shutters that give the block a glowing effect at night.
Town،use-style apartments occupy the brick base of this elongated volume, while above, the dual-aspect apartments all have sheltered terraces overlooking the courtyard. They have individual control of the external shutters to mediate light and air.
At the eastern end of the Bar of Light, a large foyer and concierge ،e is defined by a black concrete spiral stair at its centre that leads up into the apartments.
“The scale of the ‘Bar of Light’ began with the idea that the scale of the objects and buildings at the Rich Estate were so immense that any new insertion s،uld also express its bulk/m،,” explained Coffey.
“The black concrete and steel stair work together to create a grand entry into the Bar of Light – they have a monumentality that suits the scale of the experience of moving from ground floor into the Bar of Light above,” he continued.
At the opposite end of the site, a smaller block of apartments is finished with textured brickwork and large balconies overlooking the street.
Coffey Architects was founded by Phil Coffey in 2005. The studio also made use of perforated aluminium for the recently completed Technology Hub at City College Norwich, with the finish designed to give a feeling of “light and airiness.”
Its other recent projects include a coastal ،me in Dorset and a Broadgate office with a dedicated cycle-in entrance.
The p،tography is by Phil Coffey.