St Marys studio

Paul Archer Design, London, 2020



Photography by Andy Stagg     Download Original

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Old meets New with our bijou studio for a classical composer/musician

Set in the grounds (small rear garden) of a grade II listed Victorian terrace on the Walcot estate in Lambeth. This new structure provides a space for work and creativity away from the main house. The small garden meant that any structure needed to be modest. Planning restrictions also meant that a full width studio was not going to be viable.

In response we aimed to provide a visually lightweight structure that would integrate with the immediate surrounds. The tiled flooring flows through from the kitchen of the main house across the garden down into the lowered floor of the studio. The added height removes the sense of restriction, giving a sense of openness of the studio nestled in amongst the raised planters.

Facing back towards the house, the two facing sides are glazed, providing another visual link to the new rear extension. This has been made possible with the cantilevered steel structure fixed along the rear and flank walls. The open corner uses minimal detailing to help blur what is inside and out. A continuation of the theme, of making a small room feel more spacious. Using glass in this way helped to minimise the wall thickness and maximise the footprint of the studio.

The overhang provides solar shading whilst acting as a border to the small patch of sedum roof. Electric under floor matting provides heating. The internal fan aids with ventilation and control of humidity, mindful of the valuable scores and original works that occupy the library on the rear wall.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was provided as follows: Electricity: 0.23 kg of CO2 per kWh Heat mat - 480w/h = 0.1104kg CO2 / hour


  • Begun: Nov 2018
  • Completed: Nov 2020
  • Floor area: 18m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £40,000
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Jul 2018
  • Procurement: MWD 2016
  • Address: St. Marys Gardens, London, SE11, United Kingdom

Professional Team