Allen Jones' Loft
Client: Allen Jones
The dream of the New York loft in London was finally realized when three painters, a sculptor, a designer, a publisher and half a dozen others jointly bought an old Smithfield hat factory in 1979. Some were to live there, some to work there, some both. CZWG did the break-up of the building, persuaded Islington Council it was a suitable use, and fitted out several of the spaces for the inhabitants. Two examples are the 4,000 square foot duplex studio/apartment for painter Allen Jones - famous for its staircase double drum entrance guarded by two faithful cast-iron radiators - and Ian Logan’s design studio, where the use of the medium of electrical conduit can be seen in its infancy.
Lofties are people who live in lofts - not loft in the old sense of attic or hayloft, but any large undivided floor space in a disused commercial or industrial building usually in an obscure urban area. They are not to be classed with those restorationists who find the most wonderful little Geogian house in some obscure neighborhood and painstakingly make the wainscoting what it was tow hundred years ago, or the newly-weds who find some poky artisan’s cottage within each reach of a Pizza Express, knock two ground-floor rooms into one and are lavish with white paint and chintz. No, lofties are altogether tougher, more innovative and artiser, prowling the metropolis in search of more and more unusual places to put down roots. Not all of them are artists but most would like to be.
Harpers and Queen, Lloyd Grossman ‘Loft Life’, November 1980.
The dream of the New York loft in London was finally realized when three painters, a sculptor, a designer, a hairdresser, a hat-maker, a publisher and half a dozen others jointly brought an old Smithfield hat factory in 1979.