Curtain Place is a six-storey development situated through a narrow entrance in the heart of Shoreditch. A mixed-use commercial development on a backland site, it is an example of cross-laminated timber being used in a mass-market context.
The first three storeys project onto a planted courtyard, and form a workspace element, clad in dark brickwork and zinc. Above this, stepped back in line with neighbouring buildings are three residential floors, demarcated with white brick. These comprise nine apartments, each having access to a shared outdoor balcony that overlooks the East London skyline.
The use of a hybrid steel and CLT structure ensured that this scale of project could be undertaken to a high standard, despite the constricted access. The sandwiched laminate panels help decrease noise transmission between rooms and the result is a very solid, calming interior.
CLT panels were used for the floors, lift shaft and stairs and were combined with steel columns and beams. The floor plates were supported on Westok beams, which enabled a simpler integration of services throughout, creating an open plan office environment. The cross laminated timber was left visible in many areas of the office space, creating a warm and welcoming environment.
The apartments incorporate a pure CLT frame, designed in a more cellular layout than the office accommodation. All apartments have access to a shared terrace with views across the East London skyline. The build also boasts a green roof above the office space, incorporating wildlife and improving the biodiversity of the area.
Onsite activities were significantly reduced by painting the steel with intumescent paint offsite in order to protect the exposed steel in the office area. The use of cross laminated timber also offers ease of fixings for following on trades, which was of particular advantage for the residential section of the build.
Images: B&K Structures