Paul Archer Design


St Mary's Studio

London’s smallest music studio!


Set at the end of the small garden of a Grade II listed Victorian terrace on the Walcot estate in Lambeth, the studio is a tranquil space for work and creativity away from the main house.

Robin’s studio is a thing of beauty in the plot. It’s small but perfectly formed and deceptively spacious. It gives him a calm, quiet environment to work in and disappear to. We lose him for days out there sometimes! Everyone that comes to the house says wow. Owner, St Mary's Studio

Project description

For this project, considerations of planning and space were the primary challenge. Coupled with the small footprint of the garden and planning restrictions, the structure would need to be modest in scale. Our solution was to design a visually lightweight structure that blends seamlessly into its surroundings, ensuring the garden still feels spacious.

To form a visual connection to the main property, the tiled stone flooring of the kitchen in the house is also utilised on the garden terrace and down to that of the studio flooring. By lowering the studio from ground level, we were able to bring extra height to the interior while still complying with the complex planning restrictions. The interior space feels spacious yet cosy, nestled in amongst the surrounding raised planters. Facing back towards the house, a cantilevered steel structure at the rear of the studio forms the support for two glazed walls—ensuring an abundance of natural light and harmonious connection to the glazed rear extension of the main house. Utilising glass in this way also minimised the wall thickness, therefore maximising the footprint of the studio.

Environmental change was a significant consideration in this project, with the studio home to many valuable scores and original works. In the summer months, an overhang protrudes from the sedum roof, providing shading from powerful sunlight, along with the addition of a ventilation system to control humidity. In the winter months, underfloor heating ensures the studio retains its warmth.

Material design

Stone flooring runs from the kitchen, across the terrace, and down into the sunken studio. This connection to the main house is emphasised by the frameless glass panels—the junction of materials forming the illusion of the stone having cut straight through.


Before GIFA
0 sqm
After GIFA
7.1 sqm
£6,000 / sqm
GMS Building Services Ltd
Structural Engineer
Hardman Structural Engineers
Andy Stagg

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