Dovecote Studio, Suffolk – Haworth Tompkins Architects
Built into the shell of a ruin, this delightful little artist studio by Haworth Tompkins Architects is an example of how even the most run down and dilapidated architecture can be given a new life.
With a strong materiality, both from the existing structure and the new steel shell within, the studio wears its age rather well. Pointedly accepting its prior life through the adaptation of the decaying structure infuses the building with an identity that it would never quite achieve with a new build. Perfect for an artists’ studio, it exhibits all the traits, evolution, development, unfinished and progress, that an artist could firmly relate to.
A large north light roof window provides even light for artists, while a small mezzanine platform with a writing desk incorporates a fully opening glazed corner window that gives long views over the marshes towards the sea. The single volume will be used by artists in residence, by musicians as rehearsal or performance space, by staff for meetings or as a temporary exhibition space.
Only the minimum necessary brickwork repairs were carried out to stabilise the existing ruin prior to the new structure being inserted. Decaying existing windows were left alone and vegetation growing over the dovecote was protected to allow it to continue a natural process of ageing and decay. The interior walls and ceiling of the space are lined with spruce plywood to create a timber ‘box’ within the Cor-ten shell, Haworth Tompkins Architects.