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Crafted dome revealed in Brixton

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A bespoke glass and steel dome has been revealed in Brixton, as the newest addition to a series of historic feature cupolas and decorative towers which define the roofscape of the local Conservation Area.

The dome – which will also be illuminated at night – marks the apex of The Department Store on Ferndale Road, originally an Edwardian furniture annex of the Bon Marche, which has been restored and extended over the past two years by architects Squire and Partners, who move into the building this summer.

The glazed dome replaces an existing dilapidated and modified copper cupola, and affords the tower beneath a purpose as a unique space in which to display a collection of architectural curiosities.

Crafted by Squire and Partners in collaboration with specialist manufacturer Tuchschmid – having worked together on previous award winning projects – the dome is constructed from a hand welded steel frame made in five sections, and a specially commissioned slump cast emerald glazing to resonate with the characteristics of surrounding copper domes.

Tim Gledstone, partner at Squire and Partners commented:
“When we first came to the building it was clear that the existing dome and tower had lost their way over the last century, with many original features and details being lost. The new dome, highly crafted using technologies and possibilities of a new generation, offers an exciting and eccentric layer to the skyline whilst celebrating the rich history of decorative rooftop architecture in Brixton. We are extremely happy to be receiving positive comments from the local community already, and hope everyone is able to enjoy our contemporary contribution to Brixton’s characteristic skyline for years to come.”

The Department Store restoration project incorporates a family of buildings along Ferndale Road including the former Brixton Fire Station, and establishes a variety of creative and retail units including a roastery for Volcano Coffee, Kaboola Kitchen, Pure Vinyl, Brixton Post Office and an independent restaurant opening in the autumn.

About The Department Store:
After 16 years in King’s Cross, Squire and Partners architects are moving to a new home in Brixton this summer. Following their purchase of a dilapidated Edwardian department store in 2015, the practice has entirely reimagined the space allowing the existing fabric and layers of history to inform the new design. Collaborating with craftspeople and furniture makers, the restored and extended building provides an exciting array of creative workspaces.

The Department Store will open its doors this September for Under:Exposed, a series of events, workshops, talks and tours during Brixton Design Trail for the London Design Festival.