RIBA Regional Awards 2014: London
Alex Monroe Studios, London
DSDHA for Alex Monroe
Contract £439,000. GIA 115m2
‘A cheeky little project’ said the jury, chaired by Grimshaw’s Neven Sidor, approvingly. This corner wedge plays knowing games with London-ness, not least in pretending that the entirely new ground floor was a pre-existing Victorian shop front associated with the adjoining terrace, given a somewhat off-kilter three-storey overbuild. The little project even dares to take on its fellow award winner, the nearby Shard, by going all thin and vertical with its ribbed grey-bronze zinc cladding – which the planners strenuously resisted at first. Inside, it’s all about the workshoppy exposed CLT panel structure for this fine contemporary metalworking jeweller. Is this turn-of-the-20th century Manhattan? No, it’s the clever urban referencing of 21st century Bermondsey, and none the worse for it.