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Denizen Works bags approval to revamp stamp designer’s studio

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Denizen Works has won approval to overhaul an artists’ studio in Kensington, the one-time home of famous coin and stamp designer Arnold Machin 

Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council granted listed building consent for the practice to rework 4 Avenue Studios, which was also recently used by the Prince’s Drawing School.

Machin, known for his miniature reliefs of Queen Elizabeth II, occupied the 1870s Grade II-listed buidling from the 1950s until his death in 1999.

18 002 gif front

18 002 gif front

Denizen Works’ scheme will create a new studio for photographers Debra and Rick Haylor and includes relocating a mezzanine to the back wall of the space.

Practice director Murray Kerr said: ‘The artists’ studios are key to the character and history of the borough and the local authority is understandably fond of their studio stock.

‘Avenue Studios is a good example of purpose-built artist studios with number four having a particularly rich history.  As a result, we had numerous consultations with the planning department and conservation officers to find a scheme that would meet our clients’ needs through bringing outdated accommodation into the 21st century while respecting the historic fabric of the studio.’

He added: ‘We think we have struck the right balance and are looking forward to developing the detail.’

Work is expected to start on site in early 2020.

Avenue studios drawings plan

Avenue studios drawings plan

The architect’s view

The current studio is in a poor state of repair and the double-height glazing to the studio space is obscured by the later addition of a timber mezzanine structure. The proposals seek to return the studio space to its former glories by relocating the volume of the mezzanine to the back wall of the studio. A new, lightweight timber structure will accommodate storage, utility functions and at the upper level provide additional living space. A projecting central balcony on this level is enclosed with a delicate balustrade formed from slender steel members and a scalloped plaster fascia, referencing Machin’s plaster reliefs and perforated stamp edges.

A continuous datum, wrapping around the main studio space is proposed, picking up the line of the window transoms and forming the balustrade of the new balcony at the opposite end of the space. The original fabric of the walls is retained, with lightweight, removable panelling installed below the datum line to provide a neutral and adaptable backdrop for photography shoots.

Avenue studios sydney mews in 1979

Avenue Studios, Sydney Mews, in 1979.

Avenue Studios, Sydney Mews, in 1979.

Project data

Location Avenue Studios, Kensington and Chelsea
Type of project Renovation of a Grade II-listed artist studio
Client Rick and Debra Haylor
Architect Denizen Works
Start on site date January 2020
Completion date April 2020
Contract duration 4 months
Gross internal floor area 145m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Traditional
Contract value Confidential

Avenue studios drawings section

Avenue studios drawings section

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