Studio in a Ruin, East Sussex

Transforms an unremarkable ruin into a poetic building

Studio in a Ruin, East Sussex.
Studio in a Ruin, East Sussex. Credit: Johan Dehlin

Carmody Groarke for private client
Contract value: Confidential
GIA: 68 m²

This project is the transformation of a structure from an unremarkable ruin, in an unremarkable field, into a beautifully poetic building. It is part of a collection created within the grounds of a family home, commissioned by a patron of art and architecture. The scale and configuration of the spaces inside are unexpected, the studio being much bigger than the photos convey.

  • Studio in a Ruin, East Sussex.
    Studio in a Ruin, East Sussex. Credit: Johan Dehlin
  • Studio in a Ruin, East Sussex.
    Studio in a Ruin, East Sussex. Credit: Johan Dehlin
  • Studio in a Ruin, East Sussex.
    Studio in a Ruin, East Sussex. Credit: Johan Dehlin
  • Studio in a Ruin, East Sussex.
    Studio in a Ruin, East Sussex. Credit: Johan Dehlin
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While it is a single open-plan space, its change in level splits it in two separate parts. One section is sunk partly below ground and provides basic infrastructure to support life inside. The upper space sits at ground-level and focuses on the remains of an inglenook fireplace and a new, wide window opening out to views of the surrounding countryside. The design process has clearly been very rigorous and controlled, yet there was an interesting dynamic and enough flexibility to allow the local blacksmith (who didn’t like working from drawings) to make his own mark on the roof.

See more winners in the RIBA regional awards - South East

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