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Anish Kapoor’s ‘prison-like’ studio extension wins approval

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Southwark Council has approved plans by Caseyfierro Architects to extend Anish Kapoor’s studio in Camberwell, south London, despite anger from local residents 

Proposals for the 220m² scheme include a double-height studio and office space covered in corrugated aluminium cladding.

But neighbours criticised the proposals, which involve building an additional office floor above the studio in Farmers Road, for blocking light into their homes and reducing their privacy. 

In one comment left on the planning portal, a resident described the design as ‘ugly and selfish’ and ‘insulting to the local population’, adding: ‘My property is an inner-city property where one should enjoy the light and ambience an open sky should allow. The proposed plan would make the surrounding area feel like [a] prison.’ 

A petition against the scheme, called Stop Anish Kapoor Stealing our Light and Colour, has received 754 signatures.

According to the planning report, the council received 19 objections to the application and only one supporting comment. 

However, despite local residents’ criticism, the report was supportive of the scheme, concluding that it would have ’no significant impact on amenity for neighbours on Camberwell New Road’.

It said: ‘The daylight assessment shows that there would be no noticeable impact while separation distances are sufficient to ensure that there would be no significant impact from overlooking or resulting sense of enclosure.’ 

The local authority’s planning committee gave the go-ahead for the project last week (11 September).

Michael Casey of Caseyfierro Architects said that a number of changes had been made to the scheme during the planning process following feedback received by the practice.

‘During the application process, our client responded to concerns raised on height and massing,’ he said.  

‘The form was reshaped and contained within a technical daylight/sunlight study volume to reduce the impact on the few neighbouring residential properties, whilst maintaining an interesting form.’

He said the changes involved simplifying the ‘original multi-shaped roof’ to reflect the ‘flexible internal brief and volume needs … 

‘And importantly we wished to respond positively to the concerns of the neighbours and the perceived impact they felt the project projected.’

Caseyfierro Architects was set up in 2006 and is based in north London. It has already worked with Kapoor on a block of six studios in Farmers Road in Southwark. 

Overview site plan

Overview site plan LATEST IMAGES

Source: Caseyfierro Architects

Approved extension by Caseyfierro Architects in 230 Farmers Road (light assessment)



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