Deborah House Studios

Appointed by Space, England’s largest provider of affordable creative workspace, we were tasked with giving a new lease of life to these studios in Hackney. A former warehouse converted in the 1980s, the building suffered from leaks, heat loss, security breaches and a crumbling façade.

Client: Space
Construction Value: £838,000
Completion: January 2015
Location: Hackney, London

2016 Hackney Design Awards (Shortlisted)
2016 Build Magazine Architecture Awards, Most Innovative Environmental Retrofit (Winner)
2016 New London Architecture Award, Conservation and Retrofit (Shortlisted)
2016 RICS London Awards (Highly Commended)
2016 RIBA MacEwan Award (Longlisted)
Architecture Today


Fit for the Future

Before & After – West Elevation

The renovation has stabilised the building’s deterioration, improved thermal efficiency and weather protection, delivered additional artists’ studios in an all-new green roof extension and transformed the building’s image with an embossed metallic skin.

Over the course of the project, we demonstrated how a significant overlap between environmental and artists’ needs, could also bring substantial cost benefits.  With cost-effective improvements, Space has been able to provide a comfortable, sustainable and long-lasting building for its tenants. 

“We selected SWA for their intelligent approach to providing affordable solutions. It was a great pleasure to work with their team and we have hired them for our next major project”

Anna Harding, Chief Executive, Space
Before & After – Entrance

The building fabric’s thermal performance has been significantly improved, with positive feedback from occupiers. Meter readings are being collected and analysed, to establish empirical energy performance improvements and examine emerging trends during occupation. Given the anticipated lifespans of the materials used, Space are expecting savings of about £50,000 a year in maintenance costs over the next twenty years.

Workspace for All


Photos by Mark Hadden and Chris Dorley-Brown