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Hop House, Covent Garden, London, UK

Brimelow McSweeney Architects

The Hop House is a conversion and extension of an office building from 1989 into 29 contemporary apartments in Covent Garden completed in August 2015.

The building is situated on the corner of the quiet back streets Bedfordbury and Hop Gardens, yet has a strong presence next to some smaller residential and retail properties.

The project includes a two storey penthouse extension, which was sensibly placed, and six duplex apartments over ground and lower ground floor featuring amenity spaces in the newly created lower ground light wells on the Hop Garden alley side and to the rear. The interiors have been developed in close collaboration with the developer, agents and interior designer to create a high quality calm feel.

The refurbishment of the façade reflects bMc's interest in creating site specific interventions sympathetic to the urban fabric of the area. We were challenged using a cosmetic approach, yet aimed to overhaul the building’s image to create an attractive, new address residents can relate to.

Working with the agents and developers we developed the concept of the Hop House. From our research on the history of the Hop Gardens is going back to an alley in the 17th century named the Flemish Hop Garden probably derived from a similarly named Inn in this place. Starting with a meaningful architectural feature, this concept was applied through to the branding and marketing of the building.

The general approach to the detailing was of a restrained contemporary elegance. Looking at the existing proportions and features, the main facades lend themselves to pick up classic principles in its fenestration patterns and a hierarchical treatment of the different floors. The main vertical split above the entrance doors required a new interpretation which has been realised in minimalist glass to glass corner bay windows and a hop patterned glass canopy above the entrance.

The hop relief below the smoothly curved canopy was applied using lightweight laser cut profile panels made of a material consisting 96% of recycled mineral granulate. These were made in a factory in Germany, then applied and hand finished by a specialist contractor on site.

The existing buff brickwork was tinted in a three-tone colour mix to give it more depth in correspondence with the more historic neighbours.

The new Portland stone installed at the Ground floor received a refined window surround treatment that together with slender bronzed metal fins repeated on the upper floors create the signature detail of the façade. Fins, bronzed metal and canopy detail reappear on the new facades of the penthouse and finish off the coordinated look of the Hop House.

With a name that evokes the hops once cultivated here, its location, like much of surrounding Covent Garden, retains an aura of almost village-like charm. Yet it’s still very much at the heart of things. Covent Garden has a strong community with those living there caring passionately about its fabric, its history as well as sustainable future. 



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United Kingdom
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Brimelow McSweeney Architects

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