Bird in Hand House, Hampstead building

Bird in Hand House, Hampstead Mixed-Use Real Estate, North London Building Redevelopment, Architecture Photos

Bird in Hand in Hampstead

22 Aug 2021

Design: Patalab Architecture

Location: Hampstead, London, England, UK

Bird in Hand House Hampstead Bird in Hand House Hampstead

Bird in Hand House

Architecture often begins with understanding and embracing the constraints of a particular brief and site. This proved especially true for the reconfiguration and extension of an existing building in Hampstead, where – given its prominent yet nestled position between Hampstead High Street and Bird in Hand Yard – space was considerably confined.

Bird in Hand House Hampstead

The Bird in Hand, once a local watering hole of Hampstead until it changed hands to The Dome cafe in the early 80’s and later Cafe Rouge, is a five-storey Victorian structure, which included two cramped flats to the upper floors, accessed via an external escape stair to the rear. It has been refurbished and extended to create two two-bedroom flats to the upper floors, offices to the first floor and flexible retail / restaurant spaces to the ground and basement floors.

Bird in Hand House Hampstead London

The constraints informed a spatially economical yet refined approach to all aspects of the design; from the overall structural arrangement to the construction details. Working in close collaboration with structural engineers Michael Hadi Associates, this approach was articulated most elegantly through the evolution of the rear extension design.

Bird in Hand House Hampstead Bird in Hand House Hampstead

The resolution of the mezzanine support led to distributing the structural load through a series of reduced, 40mm wide portal frames on which a series of suspension rods delicately poises the mezzanine level within the modest, mono-pitched volume. Inspired by the beautifully considered details of Carlo Scarpa and Japanese Shoji screens, the fine, waxed mild steel structural components are celebrated and expressed through the playful junction details and complementing opaque resin infill panels.

Bird in Hand House Hampstead Bird in Hand House Hampstead

Encouraged by the refined proportions of the rear extension and mezzanine, this 40mm structural motif and materiality was echoed in the detailing of both the residential units and the new, waxed mild steel cantilevered staircase to the common area. Fabricated by Weber Industries and developed using a diverse range of traditional and contemporary design tools, the stair’s helical geometries and steel construction methods were also adopted to negotiate the generous floor to ceiling heights and challenging spatial constraints.

Bird in Hand House Hampstead London Bird in Hand House Hampstead London

The solid balustrade from entrance level elegantly transitions into an open one at first floor level, gradually demarcating the change of occupancy as one ascends from office use to residential on the upper two floors.

Bird in Hand House Hampstead London Hampstead houses design by Patalab Architecture London

The characteristic butterfly roof to the existing building informs the volumetric expression and chamfered brick reveals of the sensitively proportioned rear extension, which compliments the surrounding materiality. Whilst internally, light canons flood the new spaces below with daylight and offer a glimpse to the historical butterfly roof geometry above.

Perhaps both challenging and respecting the synonymous proverb, The Bird in Hand, sustains yet maximises the potential of the existing by embracing its constraints to provide new, inspiring spaces for the centre of Hampstead Village.

Hampstead building design by Patalab Architecture Hampstead property design by Patalab Architecture

Bird in Hand House, Hampstead – Building Information

Design: Patalab Architecture

Project size: 490 sqm
Site size: 250 sqm
Completion date: 2021
Building levels: 5

Bird in Hand House Hampstead London

Photographer: Julian Abrams

Bird in Hand House, Hampstead images / information received 220821 from Patalab Architecture UK

Location: Hampstead, north west London, England, UK

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