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Avenue Studios

London

This purpose-built block of Victorian Artists’ studios is tucked away in a hidden corner of Kensington and Chelsea, and subsequently not widely known. In its day it housed artists such as John Singer Sergeant, but remains discreetly low-key.

The Studios are Listed and protected, and – still categorised as ‘Artists Studios’ – their layout must retain the open plan character and function.

Our clients bought a pair of these studios and appointed us as both Architects and Interior Designers. Our approach was to return the studios and their mezzanines to a simple unfussy form, in the spirit of the original designs.

We commenced by stripping out the inappropriate 20thC additions. Finishes are of high quality but selected from a limited palette of honest plain materials. Polished concrete was installed throughout the Ground Floor, bleached softwood on the upper floors. Trusses were stripped of paint and the lofty ceilings re-finished in painted boarding. Fireplaces became simple openings. Bed ‘nooks’ were provided on reconstructed mezzanines. Original bead and butt boarded partitions were revealed and stripped back. New joinery is of high quality, but simple in design. Only carefully selected new technologies were incorporated: they are present but discreet.

The overall effect is a pared-down backdrop against which our client’s Art can be displayed.