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Rising star Matheson Whiteley wins approval for Clapham arts centre revamp

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Matheson Whiteley has won approval for its £2.3 million overhaul of Studio Voltaire, a not-for-profit arts organisation in south London

Lambeth councillors have approved the practice’s designs for the expansion and refurbishment of the art gallery and artists’ studios at Nelson’s Row in Clapham.

The project will include a new public entrance, café and retail space for art gallery House of Voltaire alongside expanded exhibition and studio spaces.

Up-and-coming practice Matheson Whiteley won last year’s AJ Small Projects award for its ‘confidently understated’ Hackney extension, Wrong House. 

According to Studio Voltaire, the expansion will enable the gallery to extend its programme of exhibitions and increase its offer of affordable studio space for artists by 40 per cent.

The plans include repairs and upgrades to the existing former chapel and industrial buildings, adjusting the existing roof volume to form a new mezzanine level.

A public garden will be created on Nelson’s Row, providing a shared entrance for the public and studio users. 

Matheson Whiteley, which has worked on gallery projects such as Stuart Shave Modern Art in Clerkenwell and Künstlerhaus Stuttgart in Germany, was selected following a competition run by Studio Voltaire in collaboration with the Architecture Foundation in 2017. 

The project, which is supported by the Mayor of London’s Strategic Investment Fund and Arts Council England, will complete in 2020 in celebration of Studio Voltaire’s 25th Anniversary.

Project data 

Location Clapham, London
Type of project Exhibition and studio space
Client Studio Voltaire
Architect Matheson Whiteley
Planning consultant DP9
Tender date Q3 2019
Start on site date Q4 2019
Completion date Late 2020
Contract duration 12 months
Gross internal floor area 1285m²
Total cost £2.3m project cost

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