Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects | Architecture and Design London
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Union Wharf



Union Wharf

Location : Islington, London

Scope : Full design service including Concept Design, Detailed Design, Construction Assistance.

Project Type : Private Residential

Size : 165sqm

Status : Completed 2017


Union Wharf is a mid terrace canal side property built within the footprint of a converted factory building. The aspiration of the project was to transform a dated, underperforming and compromised couple’s dwelling into a contemporary, energy efficient and spatially generous family home. Works consisted of a full refurbishment and remodel of the two storey property including the replacement and extension of an existing roof top conservatory; transforming it from an unusable store room into a habitable space that can be used all year round. The approach throughout the project was to use moderately priced materials, adding value through thoughtful, crafted details and care during execution.


The footprint of the existing conservatory was increased to create a flexible space that can either be used as a guest suite, lounge and/ or study. Located along Regents Canal, the new roof top structure is inspired by canal boats incorporating an enveloping oak and ash interior.


Timber and steel flitched components create structural legibility adding rhythm and texture whilst enhancing the perception of volume. The layered south elevation maximises light, views and enhances connectivity with the terrace and sky. 


Inspired by the former industrial use of the building, the material palette of the ground floor  incorporates raw and uncovered finishes such as the original concrete soffit. In contrast to this, elements such as the kitchen, fixtures and fittings are precisely detailed, warm in colour and texture to create a unique material palette with a contemporary yet homely atmosphere.


Bespoke rotating window shutters fabricated from fluted glass provide privacy from users of the canal tow path whilst maximising natural light and views.


The primary living space at ground floor was reconfigured to resolve the disconnection of the kitchen, lounge and dining spaces. A sliding glass partition allows a new playroom to be concealed or connected when appropriate to the main living space.