Tower House Lewisham
Our designs have reinstated this landmark building’s status by delivering a renewed street presence and 56 high quality flats within the existing building and a new two storey roof extension
- 1933 building opened
- 45,561ft2 internal floor area
- 21 balconies
- 56 flats across four floors
- 83 years old
About Tower House
Once a vibrant department store (Royal Arsenal Cooperative Society), in more recent years Tower House was converted into a pub and gym, but with little success. Barr Gazetas’ new design for MHA London reinstates the building’s landmark status by delivering a renovated street presence, as well as 56 high quality flats within the existing building and in a new two storey roof extension.
The flats in the main building benefit from the dramatic high ceilings of the original department store. The extension, containing additional flats, is clad in pleated metal panels with inset balconies. Both design details reference the art deco building style, whilst also creating a subtle contrast between old and new. The striking vertical panels mirror the brick pillars of the Tower and on the existing window frames.
The extension is set back behind a landmark brick tower that stands 9.5 metres above the original roof. Barr Gazetas ensured the tower’s urban significance remains by establishing distance between it and the new extension behind. The building’s exterior façade has a curved front which follows the ancient path of the now culverted River Quaggy. To reinforce this strong feature the curved design continues on the façade of the roof extension.
The exterior of the building’s lower three floors is clad in Faience tiles which have been cleaned and repaired. In addition, unique relief panels display ocean liners, trains, and lorries bringing goods to the department store, and the Royal Arsenal Cooperative Society logo. These historic illustrations have been restored and dramatically lit. At street level, Barr Gazetas reinstated the lost shop fronts. On the second floor, angled Crittal bay windows bring back a feature that had disappeared many years ago.