The making of Langlands & Bell’s studio-house in Kent
The rural studio-house of Turner Prize nominees Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell is some 320 sq m of meticulous craftsmanship and canny details, a modernist box in the quintessentially English countryside.
Most visual artists don’t make good architects (and vice versa) but the artwork of the British duo has always been based on representations of space, scale and dimension, and as minimalist architect and friend John Pawson says of the project (aptly named ’Untitled’), ’It’s not architecture. It’s an installation.’
When the pair brought the plot of meadowland in Kent, it came complete with a small cottage. In 2006 they razed this to the ground, installed an LPG gas generator and hoisted a converted shipping container onto the site by crane, which doubled as the project manager’s office and their living accommodation.
Then work began on the L-shaped house, whose seemingly simple flat-roofed construction belies the sophistication of the interior. §