Turner's House, Twickenham

Bold decisions are justified in recreating a unique vision

Turner's House, Twickenham.
Turner's House, Twickenham. Credit: Anne Purkiss

Butler Hegarty Architects for Turner's House Trust
Contract value: £1.2m
GIA: 189m²
Cost per m²: £6,349 

This quietly radical project is an extensive restoration of the diminutive villa that the artist J M W Turner had built for himself in Twickenham as a retreat from his busy London life. To a great extent, the original design of Sandycombe Lodge (1813-15) was Turner’s own, although the ideas of his friend Sir John Soane can be detected in the intense entrance hall with its sequence of arches.

 

  • Turner's House, Twickenham.
    Turner's House, Twickenham. Credit: Anne Purkiss
  • Turner's House, Twickenham.
    Turner's House, Twickenham. Credit: Anne Purkiss
  • Turner's House, Twickenham.
    Turner's House, Twickenham. Credit: Anne Purkiss
  • Turner's House, Twickenham.
    Turner's House, Twickenham. Credit: Anne Purkiss
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The grade II* listed  villa had been ‘at risk’ until this exemplary restoration. It involved demolishing later additions, remodelling its interior and furnishing it as a museum using the inventory of Turner’s London house and the artist’s own sketchbooks. The architect describes the house as being returned to a ‘solemn brick structure’ rather than its ‘polite Regency’ incarnation. Such extensive remaking, including the removal of wings, would not be the usual approach for a building of this calibre. But the bold decisions are in this case justified in recreating a unique vision – and Turner’s largest work.

Conservation Award

See more winners in the RIBA Regional Awards – London: Arts


 

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