The practice was commissioned to design a private gallery for two artists located on a bristling mews, in the heart of Paddington. Mews houses are typically buildings without gardens or windows to the rear and so rely on roof cowels for lighting and ventilation. In this house a large rooflight was added to the house providing toplight to the gallery spaces on both ground and first floor.
The project could be seen as a small yet notable addition to the canon of ‘houses designed for artists’. Historically, there lies a connection between the different yet inextricably linked practices of designer and artist, this collaboration has often manifested physically and conceptually in the idea of the house.
The renovation of the house is a strong example of the retention of the original mews and a sustainable method of adapting an existing domestic building for a new use and character. The form of the oculus is constructed from timber using minimal steel fixings and the intervention creates a new breathable skin for the building, improving its thermal performance whilst being naturally lit from the skylight above.