The Observatory / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The Observatory / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
© Matt Dunkinson
© Matt Dunkinson

© Matt Dunkinson © Richard Battye © Richard Battye © Richard Battye + 17

Offices  · 
  • Architects Authors of this architecture project Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
  • Area Area of this architecture project
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
  • Photographer Created with Sketch.
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Accoya, Accsys Technologies, Medite Tricoya
  • Client

    SPUD (Spaces, Placemaking and Urban Design)
  • Contractor

    Shell and structure: S&S Construction Ltd.
  • Subcontractor

    Rotating Base: Unitspark Ltd.
  • Structural Engineer

    KPF Consuslting
  • Environmental Engineer

    S&S Construction
  • Artist Collaborator

    Edward Crumpton
  • Timber and Building Materials

    James Latham Ltd
  • Design Team

    Charlotte Knight, Mina Gospavic, Lauren Shevills, Ross Galtress, / FCBStudios
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© Richard Battye
© Richard Battye

Text description provided by the architects. The Observatory is a mobile artist studio and workshop designed to encourage interaction between artists and their audience, through a blurring of public and private and inside and outside spaces.


Four architectural assistants from FCBStudios (Charlotte Knight, Ross Galtress, Mina Gospavic and Lauren Shevills) together with Devon-based artist Edward Crumpton won a competition to create a structure that could house multi-disciplinary artists and directly engage with the public. They responded to the brief by creating two rotating wooden structures:
- The Study: a private and weather-tight artist’s studio.
- The Workshop: a space for the artist to present their work and encounter the public in.

Plans and Sections
Plans and Sections

The team was inspired by the geometric forms of Sol de Wit and a 15th century painting Saint Jerome in His Study in which the viewer looks into the framed space of the artist, with a landscape framed beyond.

© Richard Battye
© Richard Battye

With these ideas in mind, The Observatory frames the artist’s space inside and its surrounding landscapes outside. Artist or audience can rotate the buildings, which like telescopes, can face new points of interest –a nod to the coastal defence ‘lookout’ structures often found along the British coastline.

© Richard Battye
© Richard Battye

Dark charred timber panels, created using a Japanese technique called Shou Sugi Ban form the external cladding. This richly textured, outer layer contrasts with the smooth lighter woods used inside the cabins. Edward Crumpton’s knotted and tarred marlin rope screen adds further decorative detail that will weather beautifully over time.

© Richard Battye
© Richard Battye

A wood-burning stove provides heat, the solar panel on the roof is enough to power a light bulb and a laptop, and rainwater harvesting supplies the artist’s sink with water.

© Richard Battye
© Richard Battye

The Observatory occupied four locations across the South of England over a two year period, giving twelve artists the opportunity of a two-month residency each. The Observatory is now located at spudWORKS in the New Forest and continues to host artists on short term residencies. So far, the studios have hosted 52 artists and they have received over half a million people visitors.

© Matt Dunkinson
© Matt Dunkinson

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Project location

Address: SpudWORKS, Hampshire, United Kingdom

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "The Observatory / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios" 26 Sep 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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