Central House

Jack Jarrett Architects

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Central House was built in circa 1963. It is a former light industrial building which opened in 1965 and now houses studios for a variety of creative disciplines, used constantly throughout the year.

We were approached to design a retrospective installation to the building, which would improve thermal comfort to the building on a very limited budget. The building itself is a reinforced concrete frame with a free facade of Crittal type ribbon glazing, concrete spandrel panels and internal brick leaf infill to upper floor elevations. The building has approximately 65% of the facade glazed, and with no discriminating treatment between orientations, this acts as a major conduit of heat loss.

Using extensive thermal and lighting calculations to analyse the existing and proposed conditions, we proposed to retrospectively insulate and clad the internal envelope, increasing the current poor insulation performance (0.48 W/m²K and 4.80 W/m²K to walls and windows respectively to 0.28 W/m2K and 2.7 W/m2K).

The proposal is prefabricated and produced using Birch plywood, which not only keeps the visual continuity of the space, to follow the existing language of the refurbishment, but is highly economical for the cost and material consumption. Further, it allows rapid installation, thereby causing minimal disruption to users. A significant increase in storage space is provided, with integral shelving and locakable cupboards.

Currently, the existing radiators do not working efficiently, so our intervention will replace all radiators with an efficient alternative, and using integral birch shelving, help the flow of hot air into the heart of the building.


Client: London Metropolitan University

Location: Aldgate, London

Status: Feasibility (2013)