A Space Age Restaurant

In 1997 Papa, local architects based in Crouch End, converted the old Henley garage at 20 Hawley Crescent into a high-tec restaurant. The photograph taken when Breakfast TV (now TVAM) was opened next door, shows the original building, bleak and dead. It was a derelict shell, unchanged for half a century. In a few weeks it was converted into an exciting new building like a set for some futuristic film.

The architects retained the old walls, raised them by four feet, and built an external wall in coloured glass blocks. They installed a barrel-vaulted roof/ceiling on curved steel girders and a mezzanine floor to give more space. This extra floor with a sweeping front edge set well back, opens up the volume rather than reduces it. The architects replaced the bedraggled old street frontage with a dramatic double-height wall of structural glass. This reflects the surrounding houses and at the same time reveals the interior of the restaurant, so that one seems to be inside and outside the building at the same time. An old eyesore has been transformed into a fine new restaurant which creates at the same time into an ever-moving picture of the surrounding area.

The original shed beside
TV am, c. 1983
NW1 Restaurant, 1997
Photograph  John Donat

 

Good Manners in Architecture

William Huck's Bottling Plant
Converted into Flats