Shoreditch High Street Retail Unit

Shoreditch is no longer up and coming; it is already here, it is alive and it is buzzing. This part of London has been gradually transformed from an arty but gritty neighbourhood into one of the capital’s most desirable areas without having lost its charm. Architectural gems are appearing everywhere; they provide the canvas for fresh and sophisticated art, amazing and diverse restaurants, cool bars for young and old and the backdrop for some of the most interesting shopping experiences. Shoreditch is no longer just a weekend destination; being there has become a lifestyle.


It was our aim to capture this special moment in time. We have maintained the historical façade, exposed and enhanced some of the raw and industrial characteristics of the building and juxtaposed them with a very contemporary material palette. Unique refurbishments such as 131-132 Shoreditch High Street provide 21st Century spaces for retail, retail and residents alike.


The Façades


The building has gone through a substantial refurbishment over the last two years. Its historical front façade has been freed from some post-modern features. It has also been chemically cleaned to reinstate its original sparkle. All windows have been replaced with enlarged and minimally framed ones. They all feature high performance glazing allowing for an enhanced acoustic and thermal performance. All visible frame-work is made of bead-blasted stainless steel as homage to the internal industrial character. The threshold to the front façade has been lowered enabling a step free entry.


The Interior


The ground floor and basement provide a retail shell. The main space is completely column free and offers a fast amount of glazing to the entire Eastern elevation making the flexible space extremely open and light. This impression is enhanced by a bright painted concrete floor and ambient light coming from the floor below thanks to two double height voids. The space is entered via a stainless steel and glass bridge structure which spans across the light void below. From there one walks up three gentle steps. The steps have been spaced so that they can also be utilized as a presentation area for mannequins or as a sitting zone in a café environment. Adjacent to the steps there is a presentation plinth orientated back towards the shop window. All balustrades are made of frameless glass.


The solid walls are made of a shot-blasted exposed concrete wall to one side and finished in a palette-matching bespoke vinyl matt emulsion on the other, whilst the ceiling shows off exposed shot-blasted concrete beams with suspended plaster board ceilings in-between, allowing for flexible lighting. In addition to that feature finishes such concrete tiles and a metallic vinyl wall paper have been installed to complete the space.


One descends downstairs via a generous stainless steel and marble staircase. The vast space there is surprisingly bright thanks to the two double height voids at the front and at the back which enable to draw light in from above.



Client: City Realty Ltd

Structural engineer: Fluid Structures

M&E engineer: Malachy Walsh

Quantity surveyor: Measur

CDM Consultant: Appleyard & Trew LLP

Planning Advisor: CMA Planning

Budget: Confidential

Status: Completed 2013

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