The Officers' House, Royal Arsenal

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

AHMM has undertaken a complex mixed-use project combining the sensitive refurbishment of a historic building with modern methods of construction within a masterplan developed and curated by Berkeley Homes. Modularisation and an ambitious approach to circulation, services distribution and structure have delivered two residential blocks that both respond and help define, two important areas of public realm at the heart of the historic Royal Arsenal site in Woolwich.

The Officers’ House redevelops a dilapidated Grade II listed barracks building (Block A) and provides additional housing within a new twin block (Block B). Block A was fully refurbished after 30 years of neglect since the Ministry of Defence vacated the site. Many original features such as moulds of cornices and fireplaces were reused to preserve the original character of the building. Block B and Block A are united by a shared courtyard animated by access bridges linking each apartment with a central walkway over three levels. All apartments are dual aspect with external walkways and generous front doors. For Block B, the client chose an offsite construction method. In total forty-eight modular units were manufactured to create 19 apartments. Block B also accommodates retail units addressing the new public square. Externally, the facade is composed of Flemish bond brickwork with, deep window reveals and large external balconies overlooking the square. Extensive landscaping and public realm work has been undertaken as part of the redevelopment creating a pedestrian route to and from the future CrossRail entrance.