Timber brings rooftop extension to iconic former department store

CGI image of rooftop extension of Arding & Hobbs building, showing interior of upper floors

TDUK member Stora Enso supplied the prefabricated Sylva™ CLT building kit for the rooftop extension at Arding & Hobbs – a former department store that’s a much-loved South London landmark.

A CGI of the interior, with CLT clearly visible at ceiling level.

A CGI of the interior, with CLT clearly visible at ceiling level.

It’s a great example of how timber, by its nature a relatively lightweight building material, is often the ideal choice for a vertical extension.

Developers W.RE bought the Grade-II listed heritage property, which had lain empty for several years. They have transformed it into a 90,000-square-foot, mixed-use scheme with office space, an expansive roof terrace and a mix of ground-floor retail.

B&K Structures, also members of TDUK, were specialist timber subcontractors on the project.

Every element of the existing building was carefully considered during the refurbishment to ensure the clock tower, stained glass windows and the dome roof were preserved.

A view from the roof, during construction, at the Arding & Hobbs building.

A view from the roof, during construction, at the Arding & Hobbs building.

Sascha Lewin, CEO of W.RE, says that the building had fallen into a sad state. “This was not just fixing some bad patchwork. There were significant interventions which had been done from the 1960s to the 80s that had taken away from the original design. So there was an opportunity to bring that architecture
back,” he explains.

You can read about further examples of timber-based rooftop extensions on the TDUK website, such as the Technique Building, Gramophone Works and Lower James Street.

Installation of the prefabricated timber frame system.

Installation of the prefabricated timber frame system.