Camden Town is known worldwide for its market, which offers all kinds of fashion treasures and curiosities. The neighborhood is a hotspot for alternative culture, with a vibrant nightlife that takes place in live music clubs and traditional pubs. A new focal point is the Camden Ale Hall. It is located under the brick vault of two railway arches.
The brief was to provide a home for the Camden Brewery and create a place to enjoy beer, take tours of the brewery and shop for merchandise. The approach was to connect the two railway arches through a new façade of hot dip galvanized steel and glass erected in front of the arches. The façade was designed like an accordion to allow views from the narrow streets of Camden Town into the beer hall. Guests are catered for at two bars. The dispensing systems are supplied with beer directly from the brewery in the adjoining glass cellar. Hot dip galvanized steel was a clear choice for the architects given the material context, as it harmonizes with the cobblestones and brickwork of the Victorian building stock.
One of the limitations for the project was the need to ensure the development did not structurally impact the brick viaduct. It was essential the structure did not apply significant loads, horizontal or vertically to the brick structure. To achieve this, the façade needed to be externally braced, placing its structure on the outside of the building and making its corrosion resistance of paramount importance. Hot dip galvanizing was a natural choice, combining excellent corrosion resistance and site durability.
Hot dip galvanized steel was chosen as the primary material because of its suitability. Practically, hot dip galvanized steel addressed the inherent issues of corrosion resistance resulting from placing the structure outside the building envelope. Aesthetically, it connects with the existing light industrial railway structures, expanding on their typology.
(Content provided by Gundry & Ducker)
Photos © Hufton & Crow