Dome House

The adaptive re-use of a heritage asset to create flexible and low impact new workspace

Gort Scott are developing proposals for the renovation and upgrade of 48 Artillery Lane. The building - referred to as ‘Dome House’ - is located approximately 250m from London Liverpool Street Station. Proposals for Dome House involve the renovation and upgrade of the existing building to provide best-in-class workspace, to bring this locally listed building back to life.

Artillery Lane Synagogue, formerly Chapel, plan and section. Source: Survey of London: Vol. 27.
Rooftop extension: Before and after.

Dome House is situated within a network of narrow streets with densely packed urban grain, surviving from the 17th, 18th, and 19th-century development of the area. Prior to its current use, 48 Artillery Lane was a place of worship: Initially as a Baptist church and later as a synagogue. The site remained a synagogue until 1948, when it was sold and became a warehouse.

The site is comprised of two buildings which have been connected by removing the separating walls at the ground and first floor levels - a connection likely created in the 1940s.


Interior views of Dome House, post strip-out.
Rooftop extension: proposed and existing. The extension will be constructed using a lightweight timber frame to minimise loading on the existing structure and reduce embodied carbon.
Rooftop extension: proposed and existing, Artillery Lane view.

Two storeys high and seven bays wide, the building has a cranked roof with a glazed lantern atop to draw in natural light. This includes a central circular staircase which sits below a domed ceiling and the glazed lantern.

A modest rooftop extension will accommodate a new staircase leading to a compact plant enclosure and a roof terrace, providing occupants with rooftop views of the Artillery Passage Conservation Area.

The new stair and plant enclosure has been thoughtfully orientated and sculpted to minimise the visual impact of the additional building mass on key views. These new external elements to the roof are largely constructed in metal, carefully finished to harmonise with one another.

Feature staircase, sits within new void created by existing structural steelwork.
New accessible reception, bridging the gap between inside and outside.

Interiors are proposed to be overhauled, including the reordering and re-imagining of internal spaces as well as upgrading the building fabric. Whilst the intention of the project is to provide CAT A workspace in the first instance, to be fitted out by a future tenant, multiple working arrangements and modes have been considered to ensure a robust base-build design with scope to cater for different fit-out scenarios.

New timber elements, including a feature staircase and new reception joinery are designed to respond to the history of Dome House, while also offering a very low environmental impact. These timber inserts are woven into the existing structural grid, minimising the use of additional structural steelwork wherever possible.

New building elements are detailed and crafted, instilling a sense of quality in the architecture. New materials sit quietly against the existing building and comfortably within the immediate context and amongst neighbouring rooftops.

Internally, the existing roof timbers around the historic dome will be repaired and exposed, revealing a timeline of historic structural interventions, and expressing the scale of the vaulted ceiling above. The proposed material palette has been selected to subtly complement this existing historic building fabric.

A key aim of the project is to improve the building’s environmental performance. The strategy is to retain as much of the original building fabric as possible, whilst upgrading key elements to improve performance. New efficient, low-tech building services will create a welcoming and comfortable workspace that is both enjoyable to work in and minimises operational energy demands.

Further information

Data

Location
London
Project type
Heritage and adaptation

Credits

Client
One Properties Ltd
Gort Scott Team
Jay Gort, Fiona Scott, Joe Mac Mahon, Paul Wild
Consultants
Momentum Engineering (Structural Engineer), MZA (Service Engineers), MU Studio (Fire Consultant), Costudio (Quantity Surveyors), DP9 (Planning Advisors), Townscape Consultancy (Heritage & Townscape), Cook Brown (Approved Inspector), Orsa (Principal Designer)

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