Positioned along the Regents Canal in Islington, this London property has been reinvented as a contemporary, energy efficient and spatially generous three-storey abode. It’s the work of local studio Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects, whose brief was to give the 90s-era post-war factory conversion a slick update – by opening out cellular rooms, replacing dated timber laminate floors, and offering fix for a heat-leaking rooftop conservatory.

The property – called Union Wharf – underwent a full refurbishment and remodelling. The most dramatic change was the rooftop extension, transforming it from an unusable storeroom into a contemporary habitable space that can be used all year round with an external terrace. Inspired by neighbouring canal boats, the space is clad in oak and ash timber. A layered elevation draws in the sky and maximises natural light. The view is articulated by wide timber frames and then softened by glare reducing steel cables strung vertically in tension in front of the full height sliding glass doors.

Downstairs, the kitchen, lounge and dining area were blended into one open and free-flowing space. A sliding glass partition leads on to a new playroom, which can be concealed or connected. Bespoke rotating window shutters made from fluted glass provide privacy from the canal towpath, without forgoing natural light and views.

The material palette takes its cues from the building’s industrial past – and blends raw and uncovered finishes like original concrete soffit, with modern and warm kitchen fixtures and fittings. The approach throughout the project was to use moderately priced materials, adding value through thoughtful, crafted details and care during execution.


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[Images courtesy of Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects. Photography by Nicholas Worley.]


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