Amin Taha Architects peels back layers of plasterboard to create open-plan offices

Exposed brick walls, rugged wooden ceiling beams and chunky wooden staircases with zigzagging undersides feature inside this   office block in London, recently renovated by Amin Taha Architects (+ slideshow). Related story: Arkwright office by Haptic features slatted staircase emulating rock formationsDuring the last century the interior of the wedge-shaped property, which occupies a corner plot on Phipp Street in Hackney, had been partitioned into uneconomic office spaces. “The building-regulation-compliant partitions, walls, ceilings and floors had not only reduced the usable floor area but removed the inherent quality and character of the structure,” Taha told Dezeen. Inside the completed spaces, the original red brickwork and wooden floors have been revealed and clusters of grey-painted iron columns support the newly exposed timber ceilings. Slim recessed handrails in the wooden walls of the stairwell are illuminated with yellow lights. The communal flight that connects all the floors   is completely enclosed in a zigzagging form, with the other surfaces following the line created by the treads. This is the first phase in a series of renovations being made to the building, which will later include the refurbishment of the ground and basement levels and a rooftop extension, once existing tenants have vacated. “We revealed the original robust structure that used only three elements – brick, iron and timber – allowing these to express the architecture.”

Two new oak staircases were inserted – the first to connect all of the floors, and the second to form an additional connection between the first and second levels, which could be rented as a single unit but are currently still separate. It can be seen from the street winding its way up through the floors of the building through the large sash windows. Local studio   Amin Taha Architects   was appointed to refurbish the mid-19th century red brick building by the landlord, pension fund CPT Ltd. Toilets are encased in large cubes constructed in the same oak used for the staircases.

Updated: 29.11.2014 — 15:11