The restoration and refurbishment of a late 19th century church hall in Dalston to provide a design education centre for the most accessible architecture school in the UK, the London School of Architecture.

Working within a tight budget, IDK designed an affordable scheme to convert a church hall in disrepair into a design education centre for the London School of Architecture.
Resources were channelled to where absolutely necessary, with the layers of previous piecemeal additions stripped out to return the building to a sense of its former self. This created the necessary spaces for a super flexible community institution. The London School of Architecture is home to an architecture school, a furniture making school, shared workshops, seminar spaces, a large adaptable studio space and administrative offices.

Circular procurement methods were used where possible. All of the studio furniture is second hand, with the chairs salvaged from a brutalist church slated for demolition. The lighting was salvaged from department stores and remanufactured to near-to-new quality at a fraction of the market rate, and a fraction of the carbon (a saving of 80%).
Monitoring equipment within the building tracks fluctuations in air quality, temperature and humidity, collating data which will inform the second phase retrofit strategy. This approach to minimum viable restoration, careful measurement and future action has been critical in allowing the school to open quickly and plan for a more sustainable future.


Retrofit & refurbishment / Workspace
Photography: Jim Stephenson