undercurrent architects occupies ‘archway studios’ beneath a london railway viaduct

designboom revisits the live-workspace ‘archway studios’ by london-based practice undercurrent architects, currently for sale through the modern house. situated beneath a nineteenth century railway viaduct in south london, the residence exemplifies design ingenuity due to a restrictive, narrow site. a weathered corten steel exterior shell makes up the slender exterior atrium of the project, while the sweeping, whitewashed interiors extend further into the arching viaduct. while the materiality of the exterior was directly influenced by the industrial surroundings, the project offers an unusual take on inhabitable infrastructure.

undercurrent archway studios
all images courtesy of the modern house

undercurrent architects carefully designed the curvature and apertures of the steel atrium to best capture and draw natural daylight into the white interior. the unusual site beneath a railway viaduct requires special attention to soundproofing and vibration control. sheets of steel foil are used as an acoustic envelope to protect the interior from the sounds of the surrounding railway, improving interior comfort. an insulated air gap between the inner and outer membranes allows for the interior skin to work solely towards acoustic reduction. the live-workspace — serving as both a family residence and a photography studio — won the london architecture awards’ ‘house of the year’ in 2013.

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project info:

undercurrent architects: didier ryan, alessandra gianotti

eckersley o’callaghan engineers: rutger snoek, marcin march

munro acoustics: phil pyatt

project year: 2012

area: 1600 sq ft.