Second Home, Holland Park

London, 2018
Architect: Selgascano
Area: 1100m2
Complete
Refurbishment, Work Space

Second Home's West London workspace has been created within a group of buildings with a notable past that includes having been Richard Rogers’ architectural studio.

The environmental design features numerous experimental techniques for controlling the indoor climate.

Cellular and open-plan workspaces in the double-height warehouse spaces are generously top-lit from rooflights in the roof apex.

The free-standing cellular offices dubbed  'pods' are ventilated by means of a 15cm deep floor void into which filtered and tempered air is supplied from a central air handling plant. This integrated solution avoids the visible clutter of ducts and room cooling units in these transparent structures.

The volume of air passing through the pod, and thus it's cooling effect is adjusted by individuals by opening or closing a bespoke-designed transfer grille in the glass, design and made by us.

The solid brick walls of the warehouse suffered from rising damp and we have trailed wall-tempering - warm pipework embedded at the base of the wall - as a means to manage the damp and improve the radiant temperature at ground level in the double height space.


The solid brick walls of the warehouse suffered from rising damp and we have trailed wall-tempering - warm pipework embedded at the base of the wall - as a means to manage the damp and improve the radiant temperature at ground level in the double height space.


The solid brick walls of the warehouse suffered from rising damp and we have trailed wall-tempering - warm pipework embedded at the base of the wall - as a means to manage the damp and improve the radiant temperature at ground level in the double height space.


The architect's concept was to cover the courtyard with a transparent material to provide some shelter but keep the natural light. The awkward shape of the space between buildings and the architect’s interest in transparent plastics led to a tensile roof made of two transparent layers. The inherent insulation properties of this structure are poor so we experimented with deployable bubble insulation pioneered in the horticultural sector for insulating or shading poly-tunnels (large-scale greenhouses).

The bubbles effectively make hundreds of trapped air cavities and so work in a similar way to closed-cell insulation materials. The bubbles are made by blowing air through a mesh which has a soapy water solution sprayed onto it.


It takes about 20 minutes to fill the roof with bubbles - the effect lasts up to 10 hours 

  • The bubbles effectively make hundreds of trapped air cavities and so work in a similar way to closed-cell insulation materials. The bubbles are made by blowing air through a mesh which has a soapy water solution sprayed onto it.

  • It takes about 20 minutes to fill the roof with bubbles - the effect lasts up to 10 hours 

Photography: Iwan Baan