“Between 1920 and 1930, an “island block” of buildings was erected by housing company Bovis to accommodate their sizeable joinery and furniture operation as an adjunct to an existing housebuilding division. In 1940 the Bovis works were requisitioned by the government for the Palmer Aero Works following the destruction of their original factory during the Blitz. Palmer Aero had made their name by patenting the Palmer Cord Aero tyre and wheel rim – the first pneumatic aircraft tyre not to burst on landing.
According to Sir Terry Farrell’s book Interiors and the Legacy of Post Modernism (published by Laurence King in 2011):
“In 1985, Terry Farrell raised a consortium to buy the freehold of the island block with the aim of transforming the site into a mixed-use complex. The conversion reflects an early shift in the concept of the workplace and the re-use of industrial space as studio offices for creative industries.
The Freehold was subdivided into several parts: number 9 became known as the Hatton Street Studios, a mix of small companies; number 11 was to house a textile company; number 15 became workshops and storage for an exhibition/events deigner; number 17 was transformed in Terry Farrell & Partners new studios and model workshop; and number 19 was taken over by Spitfire Productions’ TV company and video editing suite.”
The Hatton Street Building, originally constructed in 1921, was extended vertically to create a corner tower for Farrell’s own offices, and the whole building was rendered and painted. Farrell retained a part of the practice’s vacated offices and adapted the rooftop space into a 300 sqm studio penthouse. According to Farrell’s book, “The open volume of the top floor has been planned as a live/work space that stretches from the front to the rear. The design of the studio relies on a continuous creative process whereby new furniture, some which is designed by Farrell himself, sits next to modern classics, antiques, model aeroplanes and fish pools.”