- Categories Arts & Culture, Workplace
- Clients DSDHA
- Completion 2014
- Project Team David Hills, Deborah Saunt
Converted from a Victorian perfume works, DSDHA’s new studio is set within an oasis-like urban yard, at the heart of Vauxhall. The building is accessed down a narrow alley next to a pub, off Kennington Lane and near the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
As a socially minded and reflective practice that has always enjoyed finding itself in edgy locations to call home, the approach to the new studio was informed by an aversion to being overly corporate, and a desire to celebrate our ability to stay small, agile, focused, yet speculative.
A large gathering space greets visitors at the entrance of this three storey building, containing the library, dining tables and a large cooking area. This is the heart of the studio’s social life, where members of the studio take turns cooking for each other every week. The studio life often spills into the verdant yard, with outside seating, plant pots, spaces for samples, bicycles, and a brightly coloured model shop with fluorescent orange shutters and an astroturf roof. Outside toilets located in the yard was a deliberate choice, a peculiar feature of our studio, as it forces us to take a break from work, to get away from the computer screen and rest our eyes while being stimulated by the greenery of the yard, the vibrant colours of our model shed and the noise of the lively pub next door.
As one moves up the building and through the studios every space is filled with drawings, models, and samples. Industrial remnants of the Victorian building, such as pulleys and hoists are kept where they are found, whilst new light fittings and furnitures specially made by and for the practice adds to the bespoke feel of the building.
The working spaces are open planned and the directors do not have private offices, which is part of their ethos of making themselves available. This encourages members of the practice to take interest in each other’s work, share their thoughts, and pool ideas. However, there are quieter places too, like the den, to withdraw or to set oneself away.
- Contractor Peter Coker
- Photography Dennis Gilbert