Located in Gillett Square, a former carpark that over the past 20 years has been gradually transformed into a lively community hub, Bradbury Works is operated by non-for profit community interest company Hackney Co-operative Developments.
Following funding from the Greater London Authority, YN Studio refurbished an existing building into 600-square-metres of affordable workspaces and replaced 10 retail units on the site. It also added an extension containing a further 500-square-metres of workspaces.
Incorporating an existing Victorian terrace that faces the adjacent Bradbury Street to the south, the new building forms an L-shape overlooking Gillet Square to the north.
On the ground floor, a row of 10 retail "pods" were clad in corrugated aluminium sheets, while above a series of 10 to 36-square metre workplace units occupy the remainder of the block. Larger units on the third floor open onto a walkway that wraps the roof.
The existing shops, bars and restaurants facing the road were all retained and renovated, with a prefabricated steel frame being used to house additional workspaces, which was designed to be easily modifiable in the future.
"The basic form of the building is consciously 'shed like’ and we like the flexibility that this simple approach can offer to the building in the future; no internal partitions are load bearing on the top floor meaning the spaces can be reconfigured easily," YN Studio founder Alex Smith told Dezeen.
"The pragmatic choices prevalent in industrial architecture such as expressing the cladding rails, timber joists or structural elements give the spaces texture and are elevated through careful detailing.".
The polycarbonate panels that cover the majority of the extension were chosen to allow the form of the original brick terrace to still be identifiable, with large openings giving each floor's deck access views of the square.
"For the Gillett Square facade, we were really interested in a form of architectural expression would allow the original Victorian brick terrace to read almost as a ghost within a lightweight wrap," explained Smith. "At night it almost reads like an X-ray."
Inside, an existing stairwell to the west of the block has been repainted in cyan, magenta, yellow and black, referencing ink colours frequently used in printing and the "ambition for the building to become greater than the sum of [its] parts".
A palette of grey and white was used for the workspaces, with the intention of giving tenants a blank canvas that can be customised by their occupants.
In the larger units, private mezzanine levels have been inserted beneath the pitched roof, ensuring that overshadowing of the square below is kept to a minimum.
Elsewhere in Dalston, the Dalston Works apartment complex completed by Waugh Thistleton Architects in 2017 was recently featured as part of Dezeen's Timber Revolution series.
Dezeen also published a video tour of the nearby Dalston Curve Garden, a community green space that is tucked away behind the area's high street.
The photography is by French + Tye.