Juergen Teller Studio in London by 6a architects | Yellowtrace

Juergen Teller Studio in London by 6a architects | Yellowtrace

Juergen Teller Studio in London by 6a architects | Yellowtrace

Juergen Teller Studio in London by 6a architects | Yellowtrace

Juergen Teller Studio in London by 6a architects | Yellowtrace

 

Architecture as a discipline is multifaceted. There are many multidisciplinary influences which inform an architect’s approach to practice (or design techniques), and sometimes – as a designer, you find yourself aligned ideologically to not only the aesthetic, but also the ethos of the work of a particular practice.

For me, this was the case with the work of 6a architects. The London-based practice was formed in 2001 by husband and wife team Tom Emerson and Stephanie MacDonald, after meeting at The Royal College of Art. Their notable projects include Churchill College, Fashion Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Raven Row gallery in Spitalfields, East London. However, today we will be specifically focusing on Juergen Teller Studio in West London.

To preface the project; in an article titled ‘Design is only re-design’ I read a few months ago in the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) journal a+t 45 – SOLID Series on Design Techniques, director Tom Emerson discusses his studio’s design approach noting that ‘it is about the re-use and narrative of history. It is about reclaiming the contingency rejected by Modernism by the re-use of materials, buildings, territories, and most importantly of knowledge. Bricolage may be, quite simply, design based on what surrounds us in the full and liberating awareness of how little we know – the existing means constitute a set’.

Situated on a thin and long piece of land in West London is a series of three buildings and gardens designed for photographer Juergen Teller. The project’s programme consists of offices, an archive, a top light studio space, a kitchen, a library and ancillary rooms servicing the remainder of the building.

The skill in the work of 6a architects lies in the way in which they engage with the existing fabric of the built environment, through bricolage, as they term it. This bricolage, or appropriation as a means to construct new architectural narratives from the debris of history, results in a rich, layered material palette. In reference to the notion that ‘design is only re-design’; new concrete external walls within the project are poured into the residual fragments of the existing brick boundaries. As Emerson describes in a recent GSD Symposium (which you can watch here); ‘Concrete (with formwork) has always been timber anyway, unless it flows into brickwork – this concrete casket is Soanian, a passage through multiple internal worlds, room followed by garden followed by room, no views out except for the garden within, the sky above, or the photograph, its a hyper compressed version of the dispersed.’

 

Related Post: Stories on Design // Studios & Ateliers.

 

Juergen Teller Studio in London by 6a architects | YellowtraceJuergen Teller Studio in London by 6a architects | Yellowtrace

Juergen Teller Studio in London by 6a architects | Yellowtrace

Juergen Teller Studio in London by 6a architects | Yellowtrace

Juergen Teller Studio in London by 6a architects | Yellowtrace

Juergen Teller Studio in London by 6a architects | Yellowtrace

 

The interiors demonstrate a utilitarian yet textural palette predominately consisting of block work and timber, beautifully accompanying the board-formed concrete walls. Cast shadows are created through the deep concrete beams extending throughout the ceiling zones. The board-formed concrete as mentioned by Emerson is also present in the façade which at the courtyard folds into playful skirted eaves.

What makes this project are the thoughtfully designed details sprinkled against the minimal palette. The enticingly non-compliant brass balustrade (for Australia’s building code compliance requirements, at least), the timber kitchen joinery set upon solid timber legs; the (what I assume to be) square formation of perforated weep holes within the concrete façade, tilted to a 45 degree angle. If you look carefully, you-too will spy what could potentially be the nicest floor box detail I have come across.

Inspired by the gardens that typically found within urban ruins, three courtyard gardens were designed by Dan Pearson Studio, acting as external rooms transitioning between the interior spaces, allowing for a growth of increasingly private interiors as you move from the street.

During construction, Teller also conducted a series of photographic shoots on site as a means to document the build process. Teller continues to use the project as a backdrop for his work, most recently published in Arena Homme +.

P.S. If you are so inclined – there is a great public lecture Tom Emerson gave for the AA in London, titled Never Modern – available here.

 

 


[Images courtesy of 6a architects. Photography by Johan Dehlin.]

 

About The Author

Jenna Rowe
Contributor

Jenna is a graduate architect working in Sydney via her hometown of Hobart, having graduated to the big leagues in 2012 (she was actually voted off the island). Within practice Jenna occupies a multi-disciplinary role, working across marketing and architectural projects with a focus on retail design management. Jenna is also heavily involved in the Emerging Architects Committee NSW (DARCH), having recently stepped down from her post as Co-Chair in 2015 to be more involved at the event-based level. Like an actor waiting tables, architecture is not her only passion - she also moonlights as a freelance graphic designer and is a maker of all the things. You will find her V necklaces and other creations on her one true love - her instagram account.

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