Conversion of warehouse into artists studios in East London
The short terrace of warehouses at Tenter Ground in Spitalfields are all that remains of the Tenter Ground estate that was built at the start of the nineteenth century. The brief for the project was to convert these distinctive but dilapidated buildings into an artist’s studios and workshops with an attendant flat.
The works comprised the retention and repair of the building’s original, cut-brick façade, the extension of the rear elevation up to the site boundary and the extensive alteration of the interior layout.
The accommodation is arranged over four levels including a basement. The wider Northern end of the site accommodates the large-scale studios and living spaces, while the narrower Southern end of the site houses the ancillary spaces, including a library, offices, archive, loading area, and plant room.
At the rear of the building the floor plates are progressively stepped back, forming a roof terrace at the third floor and a light well at ground floor that draws daylight down into the basement level. Large high-level windows and a cut back mezzanine at first floor level ensure that the ground floor studio is flooded with natural light and provides large areas of wall space for the artist to produce and display their work on.
The client was originally drawn to the building by its history and richness of character. In order to ensure that this distinctive character was preserved, the original finishes were retained and reused wherever possible. Floorboards, brickwork and concrete floors have been left undecorated and exposed, revealing traces of the building’s past and indicating the extent of the recent alterations.