Talent House/Sugar House Island

Skelly & Couch has worked closely with developer Vastint UK and architects Citizens Design Bureau to deliver The Talent House, a new home for both East London Dance and music organisation UD at Sugar House Island, Stratford.

Sugar House Island is a water-bound development transforming 26 acres of an historic region in east London into a mixed-use area of offices, homes, restaurants and more. 

With high-performance professional studio facilities spanning three floors in a historic warehouse with a modern extension, the £4.1m Talent House creative hub is purpose-built to facilitate and encourage creativity. Skelly & Couch has adapted the base build which was originally designed for typical office use to meet the client’s unique needs, such as high acoustic separation with box-in-box constructions, specialist lighting rigs and daylight black-out for shooting videos and digital broadcasting. This is in addition to sprung flooring systems for the dance studios.

Alongside this, energy-conscious and flexible services have been designed that cater to both the client’s current and future requirements whilst still being mindful of sustainability. The project is currently set to achieve an EPC ‘A’ rating and has a BREEAM 2014 New Development ranking of Very Good. MEP services were designed to suit the demanding requirements of dance and music studios. Skelly & Couch provided heating, cooling, ventilation and audio/visual services to most spaces while coordinating high-specification acoustic treatment of these spaces. District heating supplied low-energy heating to the building and cooling was provided using electric fan coil units. A central air conditioning controller restricts the use of the cooling to reduce regulated energy and bills.

Dimmable, DALI-controlled lighting has been introduced to all studio spaces alongside the specialist lighting equipment, allowing flexibility for teaching and performances. Security was a top priority, so an access control system was installed throughout the building with the ability to limit access to individual users to different areas of the building. A security alarm linked to wireless door and window contacts was installed to alert the building management to intruders and provisions were made for a CCTV system.

Skelly & Couch also worked on a new-build 2 Form Entry Primary School called School 360 for Vastint UK on Sugar House Island. Both School 360 and The Talent House are connected to an energy-efficient, site-wide district heating connection.

Talent House is a Regional Finalist in the 2023 Civic Trust Awards.