Fraher Studio

Architect: Fraher Architects
Location: Honor Oak Park, London
Completion: 2013

In addition to the tight site and visibly challenging geometry, this architects' studio had split ground floor levels, fully turfed green roof area and was partially sunken below ground level to allow enough height to incorporate a mezzanine level without compromising planning limitations and minimising impact on neighbouring buildings.

The irregular surface, tailored to maximise natural light, mean that none of the structural elements in the outer shell were horizontal or vertical and most were rotated out of plane so the analysis was highly complex. This also meant that each connection needed to be specifically designed and detailed to accommodate this, as well as the resulting challenges it led to in the installation.

Internally, the post tensioned netting formed a hyperbolic parabaloid surface whose structure and geometry combined to form part of the floor, balustrade and a unique seating area. The large lateral loads required to support this required careful consideration in the main structure to ensure sufficient but invisible anchor points were incorporated.

The whole project was designed, detailed and constructed in less than ten months and stayed within its tight budget.