Complementing the practice’s portfolio of new interventions within the context of existing and historic buildings, Edison House is the redevelopment of an Art Deco building on Old Marleybone Road London. Home to Adjaye Associates’ London studio, the practice occupies the entire ground floor, in a radical new purpose-designed space. The developer, Manhattan Loft Corporation, also uses part of the building as its headquarters. Providing six floors of office accommodation, the original brick and render facade of Edison House has been retained, as have the exposed concrete floors, columns and ceilings. The Adjaye Associates studio space is a celebration of atmosphere rather than materials. It exposes the vestiges of the old building by dramatic juxtaposition with the new extension. The reception area contains built-in red leather seating and a reception desk made from stacked planes of marble.
By using a dark, muted material palette, the new additions recede to allow the original flecked concrete of the former structure to predominate. A reminder of the building’s industrial past, there is the stark combination of concrete flooring with fibre cement ceiling and walls. At the centre, an external water courtyard is the focal point. It has an important environmental role, to cool the studio in the summer by drawing warm air outside when the windows are opened. It also has a metaphysical dimension. It is a means of bringing an element of nature into the studio. The pool is like a reflective, glimmering window onto the world outside, its soothing presence establishing a calming, restorative effect.