1830 LION HOUSE
Princes Street, Margate
We completed the conservation of this 1830s building to become the new studio for our practice in 2018. There's evidence in the way it's constructed to suggest that it was originally two separate mews cottages, serving the main house on Hawley Square, but over time had been connected together into one 3-house premises, likely in the late19th century when the building was used seasonally as a feather and fur factory in the winter, and a boarding house for holiday makers in the summer.
Our conservation sought to repair much of the existing historic fabric, and restore the lost spatial connections through the building, whilst making sensitive architectural interventions in order to create a good quality, creative commercial studio space. Construction work was by local firm MAM Builders.
Captain Sadlere, Dreamland's c19th Lion Tamer, was a former inhabitant, in fact it's reported he died in the cottage. We wonder if the deep scratches to the base of the studio door derive from Sadlere's lion cubs...
An extraordinary effect was created by sanding off the modern internal gloss paint from the lime-plastered walls, leaving a camouflage-pattern showing each of the historic layers of paint, including greens, blues, peaches, and magnolia. The surface is now sealed with marseille soap which soaks in to create a breathable, invisible seal.
Contractor: MAM Builders
Engineer: Osborne Edwards Ltd
Photographs by David Grandorge
and Studio Sam Causer
Postcard - Dreamland Trust (donated by Mick Twyman)