Haggerston Baths

Significant restoration and transformation of Haggerston Baths into a unique and vibrant community hub.

Address

Whiston Road, E2

Client

Castleforge Partners

Size

65,000sqft

Status

RIBA Stage 0

Formerly a Victorian public bathhouse in the heart of Haggerston, the landmark building will be rejuvenated to house a dynamic community hub. The bathhouse and Grade II listed pool closed in 2000 and had previously remained dormant. GPAD’s proposal sees the derelict space transformed into a new sustainable destination for the neighbourhood combining; commercial offices, studios and workshop spaces, retail shops and “pop ups”, cafes, markets, community arts and exhibition spaces.

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A clear vision for the hub was embedded from the outset. Ensuring that the site retained its strong link with the public, the proposal had been thoughtfully designed with the community at its heart. GPAD worked with Heritage Consultant John Martin Robinson and Historic England, to ensure that the heritage was properly respected, and undertook multiple phases of community consultation and engagement to ensure that local councillors and residents supported the uses being proposed. As a result, our design and community engagement acted as the winning bid in securing the long lease from Hackney Council.

The reuse and retrofit successfully weave original heritage features and new build elements together to present a sensitively curated series of spaces. The contemporary interventions have been crafted to emulate the historic uses – poolside viewing galleries into arts and exhibition spaces/offices and operations within the former laundry areas. The proposed office nestles itself within the existing form to omit impact with central maker spaces slotting into the original walls and apertures of the iconic pool interior.

The front section of the building facing Whiston Road will be retained and restored to its original prominence to serve as the main public entrance and link to many of the building’s key functions. The East Wing will be refurbished and extended towards Laburnum Street to provide spaces for retail units, as well as an art gallery and exhibition space. To the West Wing, the former laundry building will be converted into a new 30,000sqft office building of and will retain the historic chimney as well as the corresponding portion of the original façade.

This thoughtful placemaking proposal ties into the wider community network and supports start-ups and the creation of jobs locally. The sustainable renovation sees a much-needed space for people to gather come to fruition, connecting locals through the arts and collaborative workspace. The approach results in a vibrant and uplifting space which features a rich tapestry of activities for public engagement and interaction set within a truly unique heritage building.

The design-led offices will enhance user experience through the introduction of biophilia. Large areas of planting in the workspaces create a green network for improved wellbeing and productivity. The extensive refurbishment, renovation, and additions, retain the character of the existing whilst improving the overall energy performance of the building.

A glass link has been introduced to soften the transition between the older refurbishment and the newer redeveloped portion, providing a neutral dividing line between the two parts of the building as well as allowing daylight to filter down to the lower floors.

Location Plan

Ground Floor Plan

First Floor Plan

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ALASDAIR BROWNLOW

SENIOR ARCHITECT