75 Wallis Road has been shortlisted in the AJ Architecture Awards, Refurb category

5 Sep 2023

75 Wallis Road retains the basic structure and celebrates the huge variety of colour and texture inherent in the various bricks and mortars used through the ages. Huge timber trusses with 10m spans aided by ironwork strapping and tension rods look good for another 150 years. The existing structure provides protection as the building envelope, but it also offers a new public face for our business, displaying our creative purpose.

The in-house team ensured the building provides something for everyone. A series of hardworking spaces that reflect an understanding of their own organisational culture. Originally divided into four separate buildings, new openings configure the space to create varied character areas which meet the needs of the modern workplace. Drama is provided with double height spaces which host flexible working, events, and exhibitions. A homely reception area leads to the ‘lunchHTAbles’, a dedicated lunch space with a commercial kitchen. This social space also supports panel events, talks and design crits.

HTA’s awareness of individual and collective wellbeing is threaded throughout, motivating every design decision. This is most evident in the ‘The Snug’, a lockable, domestic-scale room, used as a multi-faith prayer space and equipped with a breast milk fridge to support the company’s parents. A fully accessible WC and shower room is provided. At first floor level, the team had to carefully infill floor voids and form openings between spaces to install a DDA compliant lift. Where the existing fabric meant a walkway couldn’t be lowered, they designed a small internal ramp with a new skylight above.

75 Wallis Road demonstrates what can be achieved when a company acts on the needs of its people. It sets the bar for creative-led businesses keen to achieve organisational resilience by shaking off the prohibitive cost of London’s corporate core. The intervention provides an environmentally and socially sustainable new purpose to the building. Since the move, HTA has been working to grow its local network, assessing the needs of community groups and developing a programme of engagement to welcome its neighbours into the building.