The annual AJ Retrofit Awards programme is one of the most highly regarded in UK architecture and celebrates the design, engineering and construction excellence that prolongs and improves the life of our built world.
Collins is proud to have won the ‘Offices 2,000 – 5,000m2’ category.
We worked on The Smithson alongside TateHindle, Savills, Davies Maguire, Fanshawe LLP and Watkins Payne, which involved the upgrade of an outdated 1970s building in London’s Clerkenwell.
We retained its structure, three façades, roof and stairs, while reimagining its Briset Street elevation by carving out a generous double-height entrance and recladding the façade. Interior finishes have been stripped out to expose the character of the existing building, and a mix of exposed concrete, steel and timber creates a simple and appealing industrial aesthetic.
Key moves included infilling three lightwells while creating additional terraces, replacing heavily framed glazing with slender profiles to enhance daylight, and a total overhaul of building systems to improve efficiency and future flexibility.
The judges called the new entrance a strong urban gesture, which combines with a straightforward reorganisation of internal spaces in this accomplished transformation. This simple approach is noteworthy because it can be ‘peeled on and off’, said one judge. The judges described the predicted CO2 emissions of 22.78 kg/m2/year as both ‘believable and ambitious’.
A huge congratulations to all those involved! We had a great night last night celebrating at The Brewery London.