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Raven Row

October 16, 2010

First constructed in 1754, Raven Row is now an art museum which opened in 2009 in east London. Previously two adjoining houses built for Huguenot silk merchants and an office building built in 1972, the buildings were ravaged by fire in the 1950s and again in the 70s. 6a Architects have revived the building and interiors, transforming them into gallery space, offices and two residential apartments.

Aiming to allow the interior and architecture to “oscillate between past and present,” the architects used charred timber for the exterior cladding of the skylights and kept the design of the 18th century Rococo room details.

Raven Row by 6a Architects, London

Photos by David Grandorge/RayJohnson Images

Charred timber recalls the fires the buildings have been through

Of the furniture choices, 6a explained:

Furniture in the eighteenth century was usually light and fitted with drawers and pockets for paper, pen, ink, blotters, etc. In this way, it could be moved easily to find the best light by the window or warmth by the fire. With the introduction of gas lamps in the nineteenth century, furniture becomes heavy and built-in. At Raven Row, we designed all the furniture to carry that sense of lightness and provisional occupation. All pieces are free standing and anticipate that any space in the building will be used in ways as yet unimagined.


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