For more than 15 years, a converted 19th century warehouse on a quiet cobbled mews in London's Forest Hill has been home to one of the UK's most successful and well-regarded artists, David Mach. Mach was first drawn to the two-storey property's peaceful location and internal proportions. And over the years, the high-ceiling open-plan interiors have been perfect for the creation and exhibiting of many sizeable artworks. The ground floor studio easily accommodates several Victorian printing presses as well as spacious work areas and also houses Mach's meticulously catalogued library of cuttings or 'hard copy'. Sizeable warehouse windows front and back flood the space with light. Mach's enormous sculptures and collages are regularly displayed in exhibitions around the world and warehouse doors enable his team to move the works in and out of the studio with relative ease. Taking pride of place, and greeting visitors as they walk in to the studio, is 'Spike' - a larger than life-size cheetah constructed from wire coat hangers. Behind him stands a three metre tall collage depicting 'Towers of Babel'. The expansive living area on the first floor, which features large warehouse windows along its length, includes an open kitchen and dining area. Hidden in the former pantry is an unexpected feature; a sound-proof music room, currently containing Mach's drum kit. Another striking aspect of the living area, and one of Mach's creative works that will remain when he relocates, is the curved, brick-clad wall constructed to form a backdrop to the fireplace and television corner. Loosely partitioned off from the main living space is a large office and library, to the rear of the property. The attractive bedroom, with a nicely arranged dressing area, is a tranquil space filled with natural light which overlooks the neighbouring gardens.
Scotland now beckons for Fife-born Mach and so his converted warehouse is for sale. The existing configuration, which is largely open-plan, will certainly appeal to creatives. But the property has tremendous promise for anyone looking for a remodelling project too, with over 4,300 square feet on offer. In the past, the possibility of developing the roof space has also been explored (subject to planning of course), but in the meantime it offers a delightful roof terrace accessed via a spiral staircase.
“I’ve been spoiled living here. It's so big and so adaptable. I’ve been able to make a colossal amount of work. We also shot a film here, recorded music with live bands and held dinner parties for the entire street. I've loved being able to relax on the roof in the sun surrounded by palm trees. And I can nip to the Overground and be in central London in twenty minutes. It’s been the perfect place to live and I’m going to miss it.”
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