Calthorpe Street – Bloomsbury
The existing old school building at 51 Calthorpe Street sits within the Bloomsbury Conservation Area next to a listed terrace block. Brooks Murray were asked to sensitively renovate the exterior and redesign the interior layout to provide new homes and an extension to existing offices.
Whilst the existing building sits next to a listed terrace block and within the Bloomsbury Conservation area, the immediate area is of a mixed character. It primarily comprises housing and offices, with some warehouse and commercial buildings along Pakenham Street. To the east is a nine-storey Holiday Inn, which dominates the street scene due to its height, scale, and the combination of its strong red brick colour with post-modern detailing. To the west is a group of three-storey Grade II listed Georgian houses. To the immediate north is a nursery/children’s play centre, beyond which lies King’s Cross and its blend of large blocks amongst uniform terraced streets.
In designing this conversion, we have sought to preserve as much of the historic fabric of the original school building as possible. Our design retains and repairs the façade and the other external walls of the building, whilst removing later extensions in the north-west and north-east corners of the site. Newly built elements respond to the architectural character of the existing building whilst remaining visually distinct.
None of the building’s internal fabric is original. Our design reconfigures most of the internal walls and some of the floors to maximise the internal space of the building, achieving the required floor to ceiling heights and the most efficient flat layouts.