studio octopi transforms delfina foundation’s london base
photo by julien lanoo

 

 

 

london-based practice studio octopi has completed the redevelopment of the delfina foundation, a home for artistic research, production and exhibition. forming the largest artist residency in london, the £1.4 million project will double the capacity of the program, creating an additional 150 square meters of exhibition and event space, housing up to eight residents at any one time. located within an edwardian townhouse, the plan expands into an adjacent building in order to facilitate the new program. delfina encouraged the joint proposal from studio octopi and cairo-based practice shahira fahmy architects, reflecting the foundation’s desire to facilitate cultural exchange with the greater middle east and northern african regions.

studio octopi delfina foundation designboom
the design communicates the period craftsmanship of the building
photo by julien lanoo

 

 

 

retaining the domesticity of the two combined houses, the scheme explores the significance of the hearth as a focal point within a room. complete fireplaces are kept at lower levels, while upstairs the recesses are preserved in the artists’ private spaces. glazed panels are positioned within the floor and wall surfaces, integrating views between public and private areas. these sightlines open up the design, drawing natural light inside the property.

studio octopi delfina foundation designboom
glazed panels are positioned within the floor and wall surfaces
photo by julien lanoo

 

 

 

flexible workspaces permeate the layout, spread across the five storey property. at basement level, an expansive gallery is complimented by a workshop. the ground floor comprises a reception as well as a kitchen and dining area. offices and a communal library occupy the first storey, while the uppermost two levels house the residents’ quarters. through stripping the structure back to its most basic form, the design communicates the period craftsmanship of the building. carefully considered insertions are complimented by the raw use of materials, featuring exposed brickwork and concrete lintels.

studio octopi delfina foundation designboom
a center provides a home for artistic research, production and exhibition
photo by julien lanoo

 

 

 

‘we are thrilled by the transformation of which studio octopi and shahira fahmy envisioned for delfina foundation. the expansion creates a home for artistic research, production and exhibition that will be unparalleled in london, while maintaining the intimacy of engagement that has been central to our work with artists, curators and communities’, stated aaron cezar, director of the delfina foundation.

studio octopi delfina foundation designboom
internal spaces are arranged around the restored fireplaces
photo by julien lanoo

 

 

 

‘the scheme aims to act as a palimpsest, to retain the integrity and character of the existing buildings while simultaneously creating a series of spaces for residents, staff and visitors to use and enjoy. the building process has been a true collaboration between client, design team and contractor with experimentation and flexibility at the forefront of this process’, explained studio octopi.

studio octopi delfina foundation designboom
exhibition space within the design
photo by julien lanoo

studio octopi delfina foundation designboom
the raw use of materials includes exposed brickwork
photos by julien lanoo

studio octopi delfina foundation designboom
glazing establishes new sightlines between internal volumes
photo by julien lanoo

studio octopi delfina foundation designboom
flexible units provide storage and display facilities
photos by julien lanoo