A Creative Camden Dwelling: London Firm McLaren Excell Brings New Life to a Small Warehouse

London architecture firm McLaren.Excell, alongside Studio Iro, reimagine an industrial building in Camden.

In the North London borough of Camden, architecture firm McLaren Excell has brought new life to a special property. A small warehouse that had been converted into a sculptor’s studio, it was owned by a creative couple who saw the potential to transform it into a family home and environment to pursue hobbies such as beekeeping, woodworking, weaving, candle-making, and art.







The team added a metal extension, but they kept changes to the building enclosure to a minimum. In fact, recycling and repurposing the existing materials was one of the project goals shared by the clients and the design team. Seen from the front, the house’s façade retains the look, as co-founder Rob Excell says, of an ”unassuming former warehouse exterior,” yet it “betrays nothing of what’s behind the front door, and there’s something exciting about that.”





With the home arrayed over two storeys, the ground level was conceived as a fluid living room, adaptable to different uses and allowing the homeowners to explore their diverse creative interests. On the second level, a kitchen, dining room, informal sitting area, and four bedrooms create a domestic perch.

The house connects to a rear yard planted to encourage biodiversity and bring colour to an otherwise muted environment. A natural pond and beehives add to the sense of wildness. To take full advantage of this environment, McLaren Excell remodelled the rear façade to maximize light and provide views of the garden.




To give the house an even greater sense of personalized character, the owners hired Lucy Currell of Studio Iro to furnish it. Drawing from the clients’ own collection of furniture and objects from the United States, Japan, India, and Italy, she repurposed and reupholstered existing pieces to give them new life as a coherent ensemble. Working with London-based Nest design, she created custom patterned curtains and a headboard, softening the once-industrial space. On the main level, a custom tent-like feature can be pulled down from the ceiling to create a cozy extra bedroom.







As a result of this collaboration between the owners, McLaren Excell, and Studio Iro, the house became a singular environment customized to the lifestyle of its owners. The muted architectural surfaces of lime-washed brick walls and polished concrete floors are now juxtaposed with soft custom textiles, creating a material dialogue and a quiet one-of-a-kind environment in the midst of London.

Photography by Genevieve Lutkin and Rory Gardiner.