The Corner House Project
The Cornerhouse is a building in Wanstead High Street which has always been used by the local community – Originally it was a doctor’s surgery, run by Dr Corner – hence “Cornerhouse”. Latterly, owned by Redbridge, it has housed Age Concern and their meals service. Now, it is being renovated by T-Space Architects who are concerned that the building continues to be valued by local residents. Still owned by Redbridge, the ground floor will continue to house Age Concern, opening shortly, and the first floor will be occupied by the architects. The loft has been converted into an apartment with fascinating views of the area.
It is a building with a history and the careful renovation has retained as many of the original features as possible; the plaster mouldings and terracotta panels on the outside of the building have been returned to their former glory; large fireplaces and windows have been retained and restored; the central staircase has been altered to make dual occupancy possible, but the impressive stained glass panels still grace the centre of this interesting local building. With all its additional details and the range of materials involved, the building has a distinctly “Arts and Crafts” feel about it.
Some features, although retained, have been hidden by the renovation process: the wooden roof, for example, was built with unusual skilled craftsmanship and this has been covered up by the conversion of the loft. It is partly for this reason that we were invited in: to record the building’s current unfinished state and the many layers of history that can, during the renovation process, be seen.
Students were invited to:
· visit the site with tutor Anna Bisset outside class or in their own time
· use photos or drawings to develop further work in class or at home.
Anna Bisset – tutor