Working as a silversmith, the client needed more usable space in his industrial live/work shell but could not afford to loose any of the natural light provided by the existing skylight. Solving this apparent contradiction became the driving force for the distinctive tectonics of this project. The solution creates a continuous landscape circumscribing a central void underneath the existing roof light.


TYPE Live-work units
LOCATION East London, UK
YEAR 2001
CLIENT Private

DESIGN TEAM Eva Castro, Ulla Hell, Holger Kehne

Made from industrial steel grating that at once transmits and deflects a large amount of light, the upward spiralling surface is guided and structurally supported by a truss structure that acts as balustrade. It offers a continuous succession of areas , each ones tasking a different activity, yet with no clear definitions. Conceptually stretching the boundaries between work and live, cook and sleep into transitional zones , this structure offers the experience of a seamless , viscous unity.

The ascension of a user through the continuous spiral trajectory produces a gradual shift towards increasingly private and personal spaces.

The new spaces occasionally also need to serve as a gallery for the display of the clients crafted pieces . Visitors move upwards while examining the work at gradually progressive stages until reaching the final treasures that are displayed directly underneath the sky [light].

Hence ironically, the complex forms of the proposal, which emerged from a seemingly straightforward and functional brief, echo the social and religious concepts that inform the tradition of our clients ‘ millennial Japanese metal craft.