Our idea was to create a bright and transparent space, seamlessly interconnected with the garden and the sky
Our clients, a middle-aged professional couple comprised of a Japanese graphic artist and a British psychologist, appointed us to refurbish their 1900s’ maisonette in Gospel Oak, North-West London. They wanted to build an artist’s studio in lieu of the existing rear conservatory and make a number of internal alterations, all on a very tight budget.
Our idea was to create a bright and transparent space, seamlessly interconnected with the garden and the sky. There were some constraints: the footprint of the new extension was limited to that of the existing conservatory, the height at the boundary could not exceed 3m, and the narrow North-facing gap along the other boundary risked becoming a dark and damp passage.
To achieve our objective and overcome the limitations, we came up with a simple but elegant solution. The studio is comprised of two volumes. One is a low redwood-clad cube attached to the boundary wall, extensively glazed on two sides, with a frameless corner and a large flat skylight on the top. Crowning it is the second volume – a lead-clad, sedum-roofed prism set away from the boundary, with a West-facing window taking in the daylight and conveying it to the passage on the other side. The raised roof and the window of the second volume increase the internal height of the studio and fill it with daylight.
Structurally, the studio is a timber frame on a raft foundation. All elements were modelled and detailed in 3D.
Internally, the studio features an L-shaped desk with drawers and concealed cable trays. One wall is full-width, full-height bookshelves. Three plaster-in wall lights illuminate the sloped ceiling.
The artist working in the studio enjoys uninterrupted views of the tranquille garden, entirely remodelled with paved and gravel surfaces, raised decked areas, white-rendered retaining walls, evergreen shrubs and flower borders.