Following the closure of the Grade II listed Laurie Grove public baths, the buildings were acquired by Goldsmiths, University of London. They now provide studio space for students practising at the forefront of their field. We were commissioned to undertake repair works to the listed building, refurbish the curator’s room, improve accessibility and fire precautions and create a new entrance to the building all carried out whilst the building was in use.
The existing entrance off Laurie Grove is stepped externally and internally, making access for people with mobility problems difficult. The entrance also hinders the movement of artwork in and out of the building. We gained planning permission for a new entrance to the rear of the former bath house, located opposite the new Ben Pimlott Building. The sensitive design utilises weathered steel (also known as Cor-Ten) – a material which was specifically chosen for its sculptural qualities and industrial aesthetic.
The project brief was expanded to incorporate a new gallery space in the two redundant water tanks that previously served the baths. The contract was let to Bryan & Langley and Phase 1 of the project, comprising internal repair works, is now complete. This involved managing over eighty separate interventions into the building and included restitching brickwork (including the glazed bricks within the former pool house), repairs to timber and the replacement of part of the roof structure, with new finishes and decorations throughout. Careful management of these works was necessary as the project was carried out during a tight timescale over the summer holidays whilst the building continued to be used.
As part of this phase we also made a new access into the redundant water tanks which will house the new gallery.