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SOUP Architects' Channel Islands art studio wins planning permission


SOUP Architects’ designs for a private art studio perched on a Channel Islands hillside has won planners’ approval

The 250m² Le Passage project for artist Bennt Bengtsson includes an art studio and gallery space next to his home in Alderney, the northernmost of the Channel Islands.

Located on the north coast of the island, on Le Petit Val hill, the designs include large windows providing plenty of natural light and views over the English Channel. The lower ground floor accommodates canvases and the artist’s materials.

The building’s black-pigmented concrete skin lends it an industrial aesthetic.

Enscape 2018 06 26 10 05 21

Enscape 2018 06 26 10 05 21

Project data

Title of Project Le Passage
Client Bennt Bengtsson
Type of project Artist’s studio and private art gallery
Architect SOUP Architects
Project architect Max Babbe
Structural engineer Babbe McCathie
Quantity surveyor WT Partnership
Start on site January 2019
Completion December 2019
Contract duration 12 months
Gross internal floor area 250m²
Contract and/or procurement Two-stage


Readers' comments (7)

  • Pretty unlovely - and the exterior images don't include the side that has the cantilevered excrescence - showman's caravan style? Planners asleep?

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  • patrick walls

    Which is pretty or unlovely? Anyway, there is no cantilever, rather a simple T Plan. The Planners were also very supportive throughout the whole planning process.
    Patrick Walls
    Director at SOUP Architects

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  • Image 2/5 indicated to me that the side extension has no base - but on further scrutiny it would appear that the ground is built up level just in this area.
    I know that sometimes design images don't accurately represent the finished article, but this building does look cold and drab.
    In the context of the Channel Islands, rather than any 'industrial aesthetic', the shuttered concrete seems to me more reminiscent of the remains of the WW2 German occupation's 'Atlantic Wall' structures - in Alderney partly built with slave labour from the two concentration camps on the island.

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  • Working as we do in a lot of rural locations, I think the simplicity of the form and material of the studio will look fantastic in the landscape and the local authority clearly agrees. I can imagine the interior populated with the activity of making and displaying Bengtsson's work will bring the interior to life with the raw concrete providing a wonderful backdrop.

    The comparison to Alderney ends with the use of concrete. We might as well say the studio is reminiscent of the Pantheon. Which it isn't.

    Well done Patrick and team.

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  • We'll have to disagree, Mr Kerr - I think that rough shuttered concrete as an attractive main finish for a building is highly over-rated, likewise the fashion for dark pigmentation. I appreciate that you believe otherwise and I wonder if your house project at Loch Awe will also look 'fantastic in the landscape', or remarkably drab and gloomy.

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  • Hi Robert, we will need to get you up to Loch Awe when it is done for you to judge for yourself. We’re aiming for remarkable rather than drab but I suppose both time and you will tell.

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  • “Le Passage” is my baby... conceived together with my excellent architect
    Max Babbe

    the idea created out of an impulse I had from Antibes in France... it has now developed into a 24 m long concrete box facing the sea and the Alderney sunset ... in an uninterrupted stunning and inspiring view

    less is more... and yes... once my bold and colourfull work stands all along it’s concrete walls it will be amazing... an inspiring work space... and the studio Max has designed will be brought to full life and purpose... and bring me all the right creative wibes I need when creating

    my hope is also that I can share this beautiful building to be... with the rest of Alderney’s many cultural events in art... music... etc

    it will be a landmark

    ... “Le Passage”


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