New London Architecture

New London Awards 2021 Winner - Yorkton Workshops

Winner in the CONSERVING category

Sponsored by Urban Space Management

Yorkton Workshops is the retrofit of a series of dilapidated workshops, into new studio, workshop & gallery for design firm Pearson Lloyd. A collaborative retrofit project meant for a low-carbon approach, preserving embodied carbon in the existing structure.
Determined to express the old and new in as honest a fashion as possible, the scheme upholds a commitment to creating the most sustainable and creatively interesting path available within the constraints of the existing site – to preserve, enhance and adapt; showcasing the wealth of history at its core, and truly sustainable design.

Yorkton Workshops beauty lies in the merging of old and new; numerous exposed features act as mementos of the buildings history. The project revolved around the embodied carbon and reuse of materials, resulting in an innovative and beautiful outcome, despite the nondescript original building.
Yorkton Workshops demonstrates a courageous remodelling of an unusual set of buildings that normally would not have been saved from demolition in order to create something longer lasting. Through the use of future proof design and robust detailing the buildings have been given a new lease of life.
Preserving the original industrial character of the buildings has given the workshops a clear contextual connection to the surrounding structures, and emphasised their relationship with the architectural heritage of the local area, whilst creating new opportunities to engage with the local community, through clever space utilisation.

The unusual design process was key to the success of the project. The primary players occupied hybrid roles: the client was also co-designer, the architect was also the main- contractor. This blurring of traditional roles demonstrates an exciting way of designing.

Environmental impact influenced the design approach from the outset.
Existing materials were reused wherever possible including bricks, steelwork and joists supplemented by materials sourced from reclamation yards.
Passive environmental design (exposed thermal mass, north-facing windows, cross- ventilation) avoided the need for any cooling of internal spaces.
The building has a predicted 43% predicted reduction on existing emissions (annual C02 emissions =24 kgCO2/m2) and a 66% reduction in embodied carbon emissions in comparison to a new-build (timber) structure.

International Jury Quote

There is a very interesting transition from the Victorian frontage building to the second building. There is a part of the building that looks as if it is the same and a part where you can see a new thing happening. This kind of uncanny ambiguity of ‘is this new?’ ‘Is this old?’ Is quite beautiful.
Andreas Ruby

Supported by


Team Credits

Cassion Castle Architects

Pearson Lloyd

Structural Engineer
Structure Workshop

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