Emerging designer Chiara Ferrari masterminded the interior concept and fit out of a new studio space in South London, for
photographer John Ross.
When Ferrari was invited to work on the photographic studio’s interior design, the large, 400-sq meters space was just an empty concrete shell with no partitions. The designer’s concept plays with the contrasts between the existing space’s rough- and-ready quality and the sophistication of a new, neutral (black, white and grey) and contemporary material and colour palette.
The Webber Street project comprises two spacious photographic studios that can also be used as multi-function rooms to hire, as well as an office, a kitchen and a reception hall. The main circulation hub, an airy corridor that leads the visitor from the reception to the communal kitchen, also linking to the studios, hosts a temporary gallery for photographic art dis- play. Ferrari worked towards making maximum use of each space, creating a wealth of storage, some of which is cleverly designed within the property’s double heights. The designer not only respected and accommodated the studio’s practical needs for storeroom and equipment, but also used it to underline the concept’s industrial feel, leaving ceiling ducts and studio machinery and rigs exposed.
The wall partitions are made of simple painted concrete blocks, the extensive cabinets and storage features are white lac- quered wood and the floor is smooth white resin. Large untreated timber full-height pivot doors towards the main spaces emphasize the studio’s generous ceiling height.
“The challenge was to create a space that has a contemporary personality but at the same time is as neutral, as befits an artist’s studio, while at the same time respecting the commission’s strict budget”, says Ferrari.
Combining experience in prestigious London firms such as Amanda Levete Architects/Future Systems, Heatherwick Studio, Lovegrove Studio, Zaha Hadid Architects as well as Lissoni Associati in Milan, Italian-born designer Chiara Ferrari set up her independent practice in 2010.
The Studio’s design vision is led by a commitment to sophisticated, functional minimalism that integrates playful twists, producing a unique tailor-made personality for each commission. Boldly approaching design as a spatial experience, Ferrari likes to keep things simple, guided by attention to detail and a holistic approach. A close collaboration with each client is an integral part of the design process, from large-scale interiors – commercial or residential – to furniture and product.