The Studio Voltaire Capital Project

Studio Voltaire is embarking on a £2.4 million capital project to expand and redevelop our current 975m² site, the most ambitious transition in our 25–year history.

This timely and transformative development will:

– Provide 42% more affordable artists’ studios.
– Increase public space by 233%.
– Establish a new dedicated Participation & Events Space.
– Create a new public courtyard garden and café.
– Establish two live/work spaces to house visiting artists and curators onsite for the first time.
– Fully renovate our buildings to appropriate standards and install heating for the first time.
– Establish the first–ever permanent House of Voltaire, our celebrated art and design shop.
– Make the organisation more environmentally and financially sustainable.

Why Now?

The Studio Voltaire Capital Project will significantly increase the amount and quality of support we can offer artists at a key stage in their careers.

Studio Voltaire will provide 42% more affordable studio space for artists through the building of a new mezzanine level, directly addressing London’s shortage of affordable artist’s workspace.

The creative industries provide one in six new jobs in London and yet affordable, supportive workspace for creative practitioners is estimated to be cut by a further 17% in the next 5 years (Mayor of London’s Artists’ Workspace Data Note, 2018).

Artists urgently need safe and affordable spaces to work in London, to ensure they are not priced out of the city.

Our existing studio building will be completely renovated to provide a range of high–quality studios to over 75 artists, along with two live/work spaces to host international residency programmes.

Building a Community of Artists

A new Studio Award will offer seven artists a free studio for two years, a bursary and a programme of professional development and mentoring. The award will be means tested and be aimed at supporting artists with limited financial means.

We will safeguard and broaden the provision of workspace for artists with complex needs through our partnership with leading disability arts organisation ActionSpace, who will expand their current onsite studio provision by 300%.

The Gallery

Studio Voltaire is widely recognised for its support of artists at a pivotal stage in their careers through our ambitious programmes of exhibitions and commissions.

Exhibiting artists have included Phyllida Barlow, Charlotte Prodger, Monster Chetwynd, Cathy Wilkes, Nairy Baghramian, Sharon Hayes, Nicole Eisenman, Anne Collier, Sanya Kantarovsky and Elizabeth Price.

This development will further enhance our ability to present experimental new work by international artists for the very first time in the UK, as well as providing an important platform for emerging and underrepresented practices.

Studio Voltaire’s distinctive gallery will be fully renovated to provide an inspiring and distinctive space for the yearñround programme of free exhibitions, commissions and performances.

A New Community Space

A new dedicated Participation and Events Space, with its own garden, will allow Studio Voltaire to expand our innovative participation and learning programmes.

We will be able to offer more activities to local schools, community groups, health organisations and individuals who do not have a space of their own, or who do not ordinarily take part in arts activities, greatly supporting community cohesion and lifelong learning.

This new space will also support an extended public programme of artist’s talks, panel discussions, screenings and performances.


London–based architectural studio Matheson Whiteley were selected following a closed competition realised in partnership with The Architecture Foundation.

Matheson Whiteley’s past projects include Stuart Shave/Modern Art and Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, as well as artists’ studios for Ryan Gander, David Noonan and Goshka Macuga.

This is Matheson Whiteley’s first public project in the UK.

Next Steps

Studio Voltaire’s Clapham site will close to the public for twelve months from October 2019, during which time a year–long programme of offsite commissions and projects will be presented. Studio Voltaire will reopen in Autumn 2020.

How you can support our future

Over £1.7 million of funding has been secured, including £1 million in public funding including grants from The Mayor of London’s Strategic Investment Fund, Arts Council England and Lambeth Council, and many generous private donors.

We must secure the remaining £700,000 from individual donations, trusts and foundations, sponsorship, and other fundraising activities.

This major transformation is a hugely important opportunity for Studio Voltaire, our artists, audiences, partners and community at large.

Studio Voltaire is a registered charity and relies on the extraordinary commitment of our supporters to complete this vital project.

All levels of generosity are greatly appreciated, please give what you can.

If you would like to become a Building Patron and a key supporter of Studio Voltaire’s future, please contact Niamh Conneely or 0207 622 1294. We would be delighted to discuss how you can help us.

You can also donate online or contact us using the form below.


“From my own experience, as an artist who has had the great benefit of exhibiting at Studio Voltaire, I can vouch for the exceptional support and visionary commitment of the organisation. Without doubt, Studio Voltaire is an exceptional organisation that provides a much–needed and distinctive position within UK culture. I wholeheartedly and unreservedly support Studio Voltaire in its ambitions to develop its building and its unparalleled programmes which will greatly enhance its already acclaimed position as an art establishment of great benefit to all who encounter it.”

Phyllida Barlow CBE RA

“The Studio Voltaire Building Project offers an unprecedented opportunity for Studio Voltaire to transform the ways in which we engage with our local and international audiences. The new design will unlock the full potential of our site, completely transforming how you experience the building, which will become a more welcoming, porous and engaging public space. It is an incredibly exciting time for Studio Voltaire.”

Joe Scotland, Director, Studio Voltaire

“Studio Voltaire’s robust capital development plans are both timely and needed. As many artists in the capital face increased difficulties with the lack of affordable workspace, ever increasing costs of living and the escalating costs of higher education. We need schemes which actively support artists overcome financial barriers and ensure that a diverse range of artists enter the profession.”

Dr Maria Balshaw CBE, Director, Tate