A new artist studio for a sculptor and a printmaker nestled along a small industrial mews in New Cross, London. An 18th century wash-house once sat on the site, long since demolished.
The two volumes represent the opposing scales of the artist's work, the industrial and the domestic. The tiled volume houses the smaller working areas as well as the kitchen and bathroom. The larger volume contains the large working area. Externally this presents itself as two separate studios. Internally, the two volumes are unified with the same material palette.
To maximise space with a limited budget the studio uses a combination of 'off the shelf' materials and materials the clients had accumulated from their practice. CAN looked to use these materials in such a way that elevated them from the ordinary to the ornamental, a common theme in CAN’s recent work.
The gabled forms take their cue from the generic industrial shed and the 18th century wash-house once located on the site. The tiled gables are ornamented with a double crow step. The volumes are off-set to create an external working area at the rear which also brings southern light into the kitchen through a set of double doors. Rooflights are arranged on the north facing pitches to bring diffused light into the studio.
Photography by Andy Stagg
CAN, in collaboration with Nina Shen-Poblete, were asked to design a window installation for the RIBA's ‘Regent Street Windows project’.
Our window re-imagines the glazed street frontage of 76 Portland Place in a ghosted silhouette of the by-gone Georgian terrace. The ornate openings celebrate a lost street view but their un-ceremonious ‘blocking up’ reminds us of the impermanence of our city fabric and their layered stories. On closer inspection, the blocks reveal exquisitely ornamented surfaces that have been machine cut, using a process normally reserved for precious stone and marble. The humble breezeblock, once a ubiquitous building material has thus been framed, displayed and elevated as a high-end product.
The installation continues inside by framing the waiting area with a sofa made from squidgy foam breeze blocks, made in-house.
CAN has been commissioned to design a single person dwelling for an artist on an extremely tight site in the Brookmill Conservation Area, Deptford.
The scheme is currently in planning.
A re-imagined Georgian glasshouse re-connects a Grade II Listed townhouse to its garden in Highbury, North London. The chamfered glazed enclosure is hung from a black steel frame which serves as both structure and ornament. Black concertina panels form a plinth to the glass. A bespoke glazed pocket door slides behind a hundred year old brick wall to connect the house to the newly landscaped garden.
Photography by Jim Stephenson
‘The soft’ning wax, that felt a nearer sun, dissolv’d apace, and soon began to run.’
As part of the Group of 41's inaugural outing, CAN was asked to respond to one of 24 lines of Ovid's Daedulus and Icarus.
Throughout the day, wax Icarus' were slowly thrust towards a deep red heat lamp, where they met their fate and collected on the mirrored table below.
Mat Barnes | Nina-Shen Poblete
The design imbeds itself in its context, reflecting the eclectic history of the square back on its self. It plays on the square’s ecclesiastical past by using the church's technique of celebrating people and events through the use of Stained Glass.
Each of the three windows is dedicated to one of the square’s most influential people; John Newton, the clergyman who wrote ‘Amazing Grace’, Peter Durand, a merchant who invented the process of tinning and preserving food and lastly, Eddie Piller, the founder of the square’s first nightclub, The Blue Note, which signalled the tide of the creative industries to the area.
Mat Barnes | Eddie Blake | Photos + Film by Tamás Olajos
A complete remodelling of an existing mews house in Hackney. A blood red saw-tooth roof extension is added and a stepped corner gable shifts the ‘front’ of the house to the corner creating a new relationship with the existing street approach. Varying render aggregates ornament the remodelled exterior.
The project has received planning permission and is due to start construction in 2019.
CAN’s shortlisted proposal for the Tooley Street Open Competition run by the London Festival of Architecture.
A chainmail theatre curtain sits atop a colonnade of mooring posts. The drawing of the curtains and Scrolling LED sign guide people towards the less polluted and congested riverside path as well as displaying other information and welcoming messages.
The pavilion provides highly visible way-finding whilst keeping the pavement free of obstructions. The chainmail curtains act as a visual marker and meeting point in this dis-orienting part of London Bridge. A much needed bit of theatre for this neglected site. A collaboration with Eddie Blake.
The internal re-modelling of a 1960's semi to utilise its square plan and abundance of natural light.
The scheme hinges on the installation of a single I-beam opening the kitchen up to the rest of the ground floor. The kitchen takes it's ornamental cue from local train stations and the uniform brick of the surrounding garden estate.
The garden is concealed behind a full wall of baby pink latex.
A rooflight was added to bring light into the new bathroom with cupboards and niches set into a false wall.
After a lifetime of flogging sterile white boxes, the failed modernist can finally rest amongst the ruins of their suppressed desires.
The Modernist’s Mausoleum allows them, in death, as in life, to maintain their austere modernist facade. The bleak and unadorned mausoleum that greets friends and family, is merely the wafer thin rear of a grand triumphal arch. Behind the nondescript door lays a heady mix of distorted and trippy columns. These all surround the grand Corinthian Casket.
To ensure the modernist’s eternal peace, two doric-faced cherubs, holding neon candles, keep guard.
Shortlisted entry for Monumental Masonry
Mat Barnes | Anna Lomax
A radical housing type for a new creative community in North Yorkshire. A focus on community space over private gardens. Simple, modulated floor-plates with work-spaces opening onto the communal yard. A timber framework wrapped in Yorkshire stone. A collaboration with Esko Willman for the RIBA Lakes and Dales Competition.
The QR Island hides information in plain sight. It looks at the encroachment of technology and advertising on both the planet and our daily lives.
By creating a fictional man-made landform as a digital link to CAN's website it proposes the largest scale of advertising yet, one which can be read from a plane or google earth.
Exhibited at Dezeen Platform
Mat Barnes | Eddie Blake