Winning Delfina Competition
We're delighted to announce that Shahira Fahmy Architects and London based Studio Octopi have won the competition for the expansion of the Delfina Foundation, which will make it the largest international artist residency provider in London when it re-opens in autumn 2013.
Delfina Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to facilitating artistic exchange and developing creative practice through residencies, partnerships and public programming, with a
special focus on international collaborations with the greater Middle East & North Africa.
Located in a period townhouse near Buckingham Palace at 29 Catherine Place, Delfina Foundation will be expanding 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. 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.
Architect Shahira Fahmy explains the concept of the project in the following words “In doing this merger between the two houses, we can preserve the essence of each house and not lose the atmosphere that makes the one…leaving traces of the voids from the old staircases that are not needed in the new scheme, allows the visual and perceptual connectivity of what makes the house and its layers present.”