Paul McAneary Architects Studio Kingly Street

Paul McAneary Architects Studio Kingly Street

Paul McAneary Architects’s first studio was a top floor eyrie three floors up in Kingly Street in London’s Soho. As young architects just starting out, creative thinking was required to devise a functional setting for the practice’s operations that also reflected its wider architectural ethos.

Though modest in scale, it embodies the practice’s essential design principles in creating a large, luminous, white-walled space with a simple, looping plan, using a carefully judged palette of materials.

The expediency of a tight budget prompted the inventive appropriation of off-the-peg elements, such as the storage units, which were adapted from Ikea. Staff were arranged around one large desk, promoting interaction. Slim light fittings were fixed to the existing timber roof trusses and a specially customised lightbox, now redundant in the era of digital images, occupied a prominent space.

Paul McAneary Architects’s experience of Kingly Street illustrated the difficulty of finding space in central London at reasonable rates for emerging practices. After three and a half years, the rent was increased, effectively clearing the building of its occupants. It prompted Paul McAneary Architects to consider its options, leading ultimately to its current premises in Flitcroft Street, on the east edge of Soho, not so far from its original home. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value

Location Soho, London

Date 2007

Area 46m²

Design Team Paul McAneary Architects