Open House Festival

Pollard Thomas Edwards - Diespeker Wharf

architectural practice

Unknown, 1896

Diespeker Wharf, 38 Graham Street, N1 8JX

Conversion of a canalside Victorian warehouse, formerly a terrazzo factory, into spacious offices, garden and glazed extension with one of the best waterside views in London. Refurbished, 2022.

Getting there


Angel, Old Street


King's Cross


43, 214, 205, 394




The Building

Diespeker Wharf is on the junction of Regent’s Canal and City Road Basin, occupying a triangle of land on the south bank of City Road Lock. The Wharf was constructed between 1896 and 1914, and the building was initially used as a timber yard. From 1926 it was occupied by an Italian terrazzo manufacturer – Diespeker.

The building is three storeys high with a tall chimney. It has a load bearing brick shell with cast iron internal columns. Loading bay flaps and a crane - which you can still see in the courtyard - allowed materials to be lifted from barges. A small railway track was used to bring materials onto the site. It runs under the building and so was presumably in operation before the building was constructed.

Pollard Thomas Edwards first occupied the building in 1994 and completed the restoration and conversion of this listed Victorian timber mill for its own headquarters. Initially the top two floors were converted into office space for PTE, with new mezzanines hanging from the existing trusses. On the lower ground floor impressive pyramidal foundations have been excavated to double up the floorspace. In 1999 a two-storey glass block overlooking the canal was added. An award-winning garden and landscaped courtyard have been created beside the canal.

We then completed two mixed-use developments as joint ventures with developer Groveworld. On the site adjacent to Diespeker Wharf we wrapped apartments and commercial office space around a central garden courtyard to create Crystal Wharf. And when a major site was vacated on the City Road Basin, we created Angel Waterside – consisting of apartments and offices overlooking a new canalside park along the Basin, opening up this part of the waterway to the public for the first time in an area of the capital which has very little open space.

A post-Covid retrofit in 2022 has fashioned a spacious, new, accessible working environment, designed to accommodate flexible working, with interiors and graphic design – drawing upon terrazzo patterns - inspired by the building’s industrial past.

Project Team:
Client: Diespeker Holdings
Architect: Pollard Thomas Edwards

Regent's Canal

John Nash, architect to George IV, became passionately involved in the idea of the Regent’s Canal. He envisaged it as a picturesque feature of his elaborate design for Regent’s Park and Regent Street, but his initial idea of a canal running through the park was amended: the eight-and-a-half-mile canal, built between 1812 and 1820, ended up bordering the north side of the park. The canal ran from the Paddington Arm of the Grand Junction Canal (as it was then known) at Little Venice to the west, and passed through the park to Camden and on to Limehouse Basin. The Regent’s Canal was the busiest commercial stretch of canal in Britain until the introduction of the railways in the 1840s provided a cheaper mode of transport.


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