A perfect link between modern and ancient

London’s so-called Loom building is full of stories that unravel and offer glimpses into its rich history.

Troldtekt, The Loom, London
Photo: Jack Hobhouse

It is not often that architects, in this case Duggan Morris, have the opportunity to design a perfect link between both modern and ancient. This is exactly what has happened in their brilliant solution converting one of East London’s old buildings from its original purpose as a wool warehouse into modern office space.

This includes relocation of its main entrance and provision of offices and staff social facilities including café, together with unique features such as dramatic woven metal welcoming gates to bespoke artworks which dominate the multi-storey atrium.

Another of the architects’ solutions was to use Troldtekt wood wool acoustic ceiling panels as the attractive link between the many different spaces in this more than 9.200sqm building, together with reusing many original old materials to restore attractive life into this previously neglected space. Existing brick dividing walls have been cut through and the original steel supporting stanchions left in place.

The significance of The Loom has resulted in it being Grade 2 listed. It has also been recognised for an Award in the London Region refurbishment/ recycled workplace category adapting the old to modern use with the limitation that no more than half the internal space is new build.  Here, the result is an exciting timepiece of history where creativity can thrive once again.

According to the architect, the idea was to create a playfully surreal take on the building’s history with a sense of wonder and spectacle, something that would parallel The Loom’s new creative community.  One idea was to take advantage of the tall, narrow and very descriptive mural at the heart of the building with a story that unravels as people ascend through the building - just like wool unravels from sheep!