Architect Maria Speake heads up the design team at this brilliantly innovative and deservedly popular interiors and architectural practice based in Kensal Green. She and her team interact with everything from Sixties architecture to listed buildings and ‘try to be as fun and unpretentious as possible’. Their intelligent interiors are by turns elegant, robust and achingly cool, and they are masters of reusing salvage in enterprising new ways.
Maria met Adam Hills while studying architecture at Glasgow School of Art in 1993 and set up Retrouvius, initially specialising in salvaged architectural antiques. They moved to London in 1997. The studio now has four full-time architects, two focusing on sourcing furniture and fixings.
Highlights from Retrouvius’s current project list include: the design of and interiors for a newbuild house in Devon; the reconfiguration of a Grade I-listed building in Fitzroy Square in London; a ‘sensitive upgrade’ of a Hugh Casson house; a newbuild in Woodstock; and the overhaul of a Seventies yacht. The team has recently completed a colourful revamp of a Parisian apartment and a newbuild house in Highgate.
Most unusual design request?
‘A tattoo parlour on a big boat.’