Friday, 9 April 2010

Chris Dyson Architects

Chris Dyson Architects is based in Spitalfields at number 11 Princelet Street, just around the corner from my site. I first found out about the practice when I visited the Listed Property Building Show whilst doing research for my parents house in Epsom. They had a stand and were advertising their skills in restoring historic buildings, especially Georgian townhouses. I then came across their work again in Period Living magazine. The practice has done a great deal of work in the Spitalfields area and have also restored Huguenot weavers houses, including Chris Dyson's own house and studio building. Their approach to restoration mixes modern materials, furniture and lighting with respect for the existing structure. They have undertaken some quite radical restorations, including the work to their studio at Princelet Street. From the before picture you can see that the building had lost its original windows and loft which the practice decided to replace. The result is a building which looks and is mostly new, although I can't deny that the end result is a huge improvement it is a form of restoration which I am not entirely comfortable with. It has become a copy of the original Georgian building and has therefore lost its authenticity. It also presumes that the original Georgian design has more merit than the additions and changes made by more recent owners, it strips the building of its true history and presents us with a false one; making us believe that this building has remained in tact since the 18th Century when in fact it has undergone many developments over the centuries.

Overall I really like the work that the practice are doing in Spitalfields, they have created some very beautiful spaces and helped to bring life back to the area and the buildings. I particularly like the strong sense of light and space in the buildings, this has been achieved by adding modern glass roof lights and extensions and also by using a lot of white in the interior decoration.

Article from Period Living Magazine:

Pages from a marketing leaflet:

No comments:

Post a Comment