Hayatsu Architects: Wallpaper* Architect Directory 2022

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Hayatsu Architects, UK: Wallpaper* Architect Directory 2022

Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our annual round-up of exciting emerging architecture studios, and UK-based Hayatsu Architects is the latest, but not least, to join our 2022 list

Hayatsu Architects, the studio of London-based, Japanese-born architect Takeshi Hayatsu, is part of Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2022, our annual list of exciting up-and-coming practices from around the world; Here we visit the intelligent and sensitive refresh of a home in North London designed by Walter Segal.

Who: Hayatsu Architects

Japanese-born architect Takeshi Hayatsu was educated at Musashino Art University in Tokyo and at the Architectural Association in London. Having worked in the UK since the turn of the millennium (his experience combining time at David Chipperfield, Haworth Tomkins and 6a Architects), he founded his eponymous practice in 2017. His work is defined by three key words, he explains: “construction, conservation and community”.

The work of Hayatsu Architects is characterized by an artisanal, thoughtful, sensitive and playful approach, tailored to unique situations and the needs of users. “We believe that well-designed, well-crafted buildings can have a positive impact on the lives of individuals and their wider community,” Hayatsu continues. Working with delicate, historical settings has always been at the core of the architect’s work – something he explored extensively with projects such as the Raven Row Gallery in Spitalfields (listed) and the South London Gallery in Peckham (listed) as his time at 6 o’clock.

Now leading his own team, he has completed designs such as The Blue Market Bermondsey, a community-led marketplace regeneration project in collaboration with multidisciplinary collective Assemble. Other community and housing projects are underway, such as St Anne’s Close – a redevelopment and extension of a Walter Segal home (pictured) – and a home for artist Peter Doig, both in north London.

What: St Anne’s Close

St Anne’s Close in Highgate, north London, was developed by architect Walter Segal in 1952 as a private housing cooperative for himself and a group of friends. The result was a row of eight clean and elegant brick houses on tiered terraces. One of them is a detached property and the owners recently commissioned Hayatsu to plan a refresh and a rear extension to accommodate the growing needs of their young family.

The 145m2 of usable space added with this project includes a new kitchen, multipurpose living room, shower room and bedroom at the rear of the property which extends into a leafy garden. Simple lines, a fairly straight brick volume and low profile ensure the new element doesn’t detract from the identity of the original design. The flat roof is planted with wildflowers and moss to blend in with the surrounding nature. An oak trellis and pergola frame the landscape and grow greener as the vegetation grows.

While maintaining an eco-friendly approach, Hayatsu has recycled and reused as much of the existing building fabric from the demolition (including brickwork and window frames) as possible. Key existing elements, such as the concrete foundations, were retained and refreshed rather than demolished and rebuilt from scratch. Wherever possible, natural cross ventilation was encouraged. “Our design references Segal’s ethos of simple and rational use of materials and construction,” says Hayatsu. “We exposed the self-finished materials where appropriate. We have carefully considered the proportions of every component, from the window size to the diameter of the stair handrail, reflecting the generous proportions and fine details of the original home.”

Why: Wallpaper* Architect Directory 2022

Launched in 2000 as an international index of emerging architectural talent, Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our annual listing of promising architectural firms from around the world. While the project has always championed the best and most promising young studios, over the years it has featured inspiring work with a focus on the residential sector. With more than 500 alumni, the Architects’ Directory is back for its 22nd edition. Join us as we launch this year’s survey – 20 young studios from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nigeria, Paraguay, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, the USA and Vietnam with a lot of promise, ideas and exciting architecture.

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