Tasou Associates breathes new life into historic Hackney Almshouses

Tasou Associates, the Islington-based architectural practice, has announced the completion of its latest residential project: the full refurbishment of the Bishop Wood’s Almshouses in Hackney.

Working with its client, Noble House Properties, Tasou Associates has refurbished and restored five historic almshouses on Lower Clapton Road, the heart of one of London’s ancient ‘villages’.

The beautiful collection of Grade II listed buildings includes what has been referred to as ‘Britain’s smallest chapel’. The original design dates to the late 1600s, and the site has been home to Hackney residents for over 400 years.

Guided by a philosophy that celebrates the special character of the site, Tasou Associates’ team focused on making as little change to the historic fabric of the buildings as possible. The design works harmoniously with the attractive redbrick exteriors, high pitch tiled rooves and the Gothic revival windows of the chapel. As part of the restoration, Tasou Associates reinstated chimney stacks, repointed brickwork and landscaped the central courtyard.

The result is a development of bright, modern one and two-bedroom homes, arranged in their original setting around a shared courtyard. Each new home features additional bedroom or living space within the loft area, filled with natural light from conservation rooflights. The fresh layout included the addition of a bathroom, kitchen and staircase to each property, whilst the chapel space now features a mezzanine level with a first-floor reception room, overlooked by the stunning 19th century tracery window.

The successful renovation means the almshouses, previously identified as vulnerable, have now been removed from the Historic England Heritage at Risk register.

Commenting on the design, Tom Tasou, director of Tasou Associates, said

“We’re proud to have played a role in restoring such a special historic site, which faced an uncertain future. The Bishop Wood’s Almshouses is a great example of our ability to sensitively incorporate modern design techniques whilst respecting the traditional elements of heritage buildings.”