Delfina Foundation have announced London-based Studio Octopi and Cairo-based Shahira Fahmy Architects are the winning duo of an architecture competition for the expansion of the Foundation, which will make it the largest international artist residency provider in London when it re-opens in autumn 2013.
Delfina Foundation is currently located in a period townhouse near Buckingham Palace at 29 Catherine Place and will expand into the adjacent building at 31 Catherine Place, doubling its residency and exhibition space, totalling 4564 square feet.
Upholding its key mission of facilitating cultural exchange with the greater Middle East and North Africa region, Delfina Foundation launched an invited competition that promoted design collaboration between architects based in the UK and the greater Middle East. Nous Collective, a leading agency that engages architecture and design for branding, marketing and advertising projects, managed the competition.
Studio Octopi and Shahira Fahmy Architects presented the winning proposal, which proposes to retain the domesticity of the two houses, exploring the notion of the hearth in a home. Adopting the role of architect cum archaeologists, the two firms presented an environment which is layered and contextual: while peeling back the layers of ornamentation and finish to expose the period craftsmanship of the buildings, they opened up the two buildings to bring in more light and create 1650 square feet of exhibition and event space, as well as 8 bedrooms with flexible artist workspaces throughout the property.
As the UK-based firm, Studio Octopi will lead the design development, construction documents, preparation of bid documents, planning applications, construction administration and oversight.
Founder, Delfina Entrecanales CBE:
“It was essential that our ethos of creative exchange was also embedded in the architectural competition. The harmonious response by Studio Octopi, in collaboration with Shahira Fahmy Architects, reflected our philosophy best by creating spaces that are designed in dialogue with each other. We are pleased to have appointed Studio Octopi to work with us to create more residencies for international artists, curators and writers in the heart of London.”