Island Studios

We create ‘long-life, loose-fit’ architecture that is designed for people and built for change. Island Studios, in West London, is an exemplar for that. Used variously as a laundry, a private home, a film editing suite and the headquarters of Island Records, in 2016 it became our main home and the daily inspiration for the work we do.

 

 

 

Client: Island Studios London Ltd

Location: London, W6

Status: Completed 2006

Services Engineer: BDP Engineering

Structural Engineer: WSP

Main Contractor: Faithdean/Charterhouse

Photography: Chris Gascoigne, Matt WainLouise Haywood-Schiefer

Awards: Hammersmith Society Conservation Award

Island Studios

We create ‘long-life, loose-fit’ architecture that is designed for people and built for change. Island Studios, in West London, is an exemplar for that. Used variously as a laundry, a private home, a film editing suite and the headquarters of Island Records, in 2016 it became our main home and the daily inspiration for the work we do.

The Island Studios site is a complex of 19th-century former laundry buildings that back onto an elegant house in a garden square. Used as a laundry in Victorian times, it was a home to artist John Piper in the 1930s, a film editing suite post-WWII and, from the 1970s, the headquarters of Island Records. As such, it included a small recording studio in the basement studio where Chris Blackwell mixed Catch A Fire with a rock music overlay, introducing reggae to a mainstream audience and making Bob Marley one of the most recognisable music stars in the world. Other notable acts signed to Island during these years included Grace Jones, Roxy Music, Tom Waits and Buggles. The last artist to record there was KT Tunstall. As Island Records moved to Universal Music’s HQ in central London, we purchased the site in September 2005.

A six-month restoration and redevelopment stripped the premises of the various accretions of the last 130 years and transformed them into a sequence of brilliantly daylit spaces, arranged around a central core. We dismantled the individual, cellular offices and raised platforms of the Island era in favour of large, clear, flexible volumes, more suited to the open-plan working favoured by our designers, which also marks a return to the original spatial arrangement of the laundry.

We concentrated on the retention of as much of the building fabric as possible, so that where demolitions were necessary, materials were recycled or re-used. We also corrected some of the carelessness of the Island era; notably, we repaired and properly supported and braced a severed girder across the main space to stop the building leaning over. We revealed old brick laundry piers, providing warmth and texture to the spaces, and used simple, common-sense environmental control systems throughout.

Efficient space planning has resulted in the occupation density of the building being able to double, so the site contains both our studio of 80 people and lettable space for other creative businesses.

If you are interested in coming to work with us at Island Studios, visit the Careers page.

 

 

 

Client: Island Studios London Ltd

Location: London, W6

Status: Completed 2006

Services Engineer: BDP Engineering

Structural Engineer: WSP

Main Contractor: Faithdean/Charterhouse

Photography: Chris Gascoigne, Matt WainLouise Haywood-Schiefer

Awards: Hammersmith Society Conservation Award


Other Projects

Victory Plaza, East Village

These two towers in London’s East Village offer a focal point for this new community, with flexible rental accommodation over 482 apartments above a podium of shops and restaurants that give onto the main streets and the park. The scheme was delivered with high-quality, prefabricated construction and an innovative ‘jump factory’.

120 Moorgate

120 Moorgate represents Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ first building in the City of London. Sitting at a prominent curve in the street which marks the transition into the City from the north, the site forms an outer corner of the Finsbury Circus Conservation Area.

UCL East, One Pool Street

Our competition-winning scheme for One Pool Street lies on the southern edge of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP). It comprises two residential towers, containing over 500 student rooms, raised above 4,600m2 of flexible multi-functional space that houses the teaching and experimental laboratories, including UCL’s Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Global Disability Innovation Hub, Culture Lab, People and Nature Lab, and the Urban Room.