A former recording studio in London was transformed into a home on Grand Designs

London recording studio becomes bunker home

This former recording studio was transformed into a bright new home, despite being underground

By Hugh Metcalf | 23 November 2020

Audrey and Jeff Lovelock created the Grand Designs recording studio in south west London by connecting a warren of rooms split across 13 levels.

Only partly visible from the leafy west London street, Audrey and Jeff Lovelock’s four-floor home is something of an iceberg. Its top storey protrudes above street level, with several residential flats on top. However, the bulk of the property stretches beneath the surface in a complex footprint of staircases, walkways and spacious rooms.

Outside the former recording studio is a residential block with large paned windows

This west London home sits at the bottom of a residential block. Photo: Jefferson Smith

An unlikely home 

The property was a far cry from the urban townhouse and garden that she and husband Jeff were searching for. They had settled on west London as it was an area they’d both lived in before moving to Hertfordshire. They liked its atmosphere, the proximity to Jeff’s work and its easy connections to youngest son Andrew’s school.

The pair found a perfect property in Maida Vale and sold their house, but then their new place went into lengthy probate. With the buyers of their Hertfordshire property anxious to move in, Jeff and Audrey decided to look for other options.

‘I had seen this place on the market and had immediately dismissed it. However, there was now nothing else available at the right size, so I decided to come and have a look. That was my doom really,’ Audrey told us.

At that point, in 2006, the building was still a working recording studio. This meant all the light was blocked out and the room sizes were deceptive due to sound insulation.

White gloss units in the kitchen with white marble flooring and black kitchen island and chairs

White gloss units and white marble flooring reflect light from the roof lantern.  Photo: Jefferson Smith

Formerly a recording studio and squash court, the finished home was created by joining four separate properties. Additionally, the couple had to weave a path through a maze of 25 rooms spread over more than 13 different levels. But, despite its labyrinthine floor plan, the layout devised just three weeks after the first viewing has stayed more or less identical.

Watch the episode: West London, 2012