The Horizon Building

Formerly known as Valentine’s House, the existing office building has been converted into 122 new homes and 16,000 sq. ft of ground floor retail space.

Farrells has stripped the building back to the shell and re-modelled it, opening up the building to create more space, balconies, a landscaped roof garden and four storey extensions.

The concept design for recladding the existing building façade, order of window openings, external balconies and materiality was derived by responding to the existing structure, site context and the local history of Ilford, which is famous for two significant events – in 1879 ‘Ilford Photo’ was established as a major business, manufacturing black and white photographic films, paper and chemicals, and in the 1920’s famous inventor John Logie Baird moved to Ilford to work on the first black and white TV.

Farrells used these historical events as inspiration for the design, including pixelated privacy screens on the balconies and gallery access, and the new elevational treatment of the building with a black and white rendered façade accentuated with bright yellow linear bands to reflect the exact colour of the original Ilford film rolls. Insightful research and clever design techniques meant that every detail, including the numbering of the apartments and the graphic design throughout the building, reference these historic and seminal events.

“Farrells didn’t come to the table with pre-determined ideas and pre-determined concepts, but researched the project, the local community and the history of Ilford, and allowed that to influence the design”


– Mark Richardson, Director of Delivery at U+I