Building works update – Artist Bedrooms

‘Playgrounding’ the bedrooms

One of the most exciting aspects of our capital redevelopment is the creation of eight new artist bedrooms, which will allow artists from all over the world to stay in our building whilst making work with us.

At the heart of this capital redevelopment project is an ethos of ‘playgrounding:’ the practice of applying the idea of ‘Scratch’ to the architectural process by collaborating with users and testing small elements along the way.

Playgrounding develops ideas through collaboration, before testing them through a series of low cost investments. This allows for more fluidity and flexibility, giving good ideas the opportunity to mature over longer periods of research. We believe this process delivers richer, more creative results that better meets artists’ and audiences’ needs.

Read more about Playgrounding>>

During the One-on-One Festival several years ago, we commissioned artists to create pieces of work specifically for six small bedrooms.  Once the festival finished, the spaces were kept intact and used as bedrooms for the next few years while we identified what worked, what didn’t, and what we could do better.  Insight and input from artists, architects and our own team gave way to exciting and varied design proposals for the eight new bedrooms set to open at the end of the month.

Ground Floor bedrooms – Victoria Melody (Chester)

Victoria grew up in Chester, where her father – an antiques dealer – is still based.  As a child she accompanied him to car boot sales across the country, hunting for unique pieces of furniture, decoration and bric-a-brac from yesteryear.  She drew inspiration for her floor of bedrooms directly from this experience, filling each one with handpicked artifacts she collected with her father.

Attic bedrooms – Emma Frankland and Myriddin Wannell (Cornwall)

Emma and Mydd live and work in Cornwall, and honoured its rich landscape in their designs for the bedrooms in our east attic.  Each room is hand-painted, with one signifying the sea, another the cliffs along the coast, and the third Cornwall’s copper mines.  In April they made a pilgrimage – called ‘A Pasty’s Progress – from Truro to Battersea with a Cornish brass band and a giant pasty (pictured above), to pave the way for future artists who will call these bedrooms home.  Read about ‘A Pasty’s Progress’ here>>

Basement bedrooms – Tom de Freston (Sidmouth)

Tom de Freston, who is primarily a visual artist, designed the bedrooms in the basement.  For his design, Tom takes inspiration from his hometown of Sidmouth in Devon, the cliff scene in Shakespeare’s King Lear, and his relationship with his late father.  Tom made a short film to document his process – watch it here.

That was just a short introduction to these vibrant, quirky bedrooms, which are now complete and (in some cases) occupied.  Private tours of the Artist Bedrooms are available upon request to members of the Great Hundred Club. Please do get in touch with Anne at if you would like a tour to learn more about the artists and their inspiration.

One comment

  1. […] The Great Hundred Club has also enabled us to create dynamic performance spaces for artists and audiences to enjoy, embrace energy-saving technologies to become more resilient, and to open the thoroughfares of our building to dramatically improve access routes.  Part 2 of this blog series will celebrate how The Club’s contribution has impacted our performance spaces, including the first floor rooms, The Courtyard open-air theatre, and the artist bedrooms. […]

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