A new artist studio for a sculptor and printmaker nestled along a small industrial mews in New Cross, London. Their different practices required very different work spaces; the sculptor required a big light-filled workshop, whilst the printmaker needed a smaller, darker area to work with UV sensitive materials.
Rather than trying to find a common ground between the scales and requirements of each artist, CAN designed the studio as if it were two adjacent studios on the mews; a large industrial workshop and compact domestic studio. The external styles of the volumes are purposefully opposite in style and represent the opposing scales of the artist’s work. The tiled volume houses the smaller working areas, kitchen and bathroom and the workshop is in the larger steel and block volume. Internally, the open-plan space is subtly divided by the change in roof scale and the sculptural element that houses the bathroom. It makes the most of this form and arrangement to maximise sunlight in the kitchen spaces and northern light in the studios.
To maximise space with a limited budget the studio uses a combination of ‘off the shelf’ materials and materials the clients had accumulated from their practice. It elevates ordinary materials to the extraordinary – for instance, the use of scaffolding to create the roof structure.
The gabled forms take their cue from the generic industrial shed and the 18th century wash-house once located on the site. The tiled gables are ornamented with a double crow step. The volumes are off-set to create an external working area at the rear which also brings southern light into the kitchen through a set of double doors.