Russell Sage Studio is renovating the interior of the Grade I-listed House of St Barnabas on Soho Square in central London.
The work is for a charitable pop-up members’ lounge – called Quintessentially Soho at the House of St Barnabas – for charity the Quintessentially Foundation, although Sage adds that internal walls in the building will be permanently restored as part of the project.
All those involved are working for free, and the aim is to raise funds for the Quintessentially Foundation and homeless charity St Barnabas. Once vacated by Quintessentially Soho, the restored building, with its redecorated ground and first floors, will be used as an event venue, with the second and third floors becoming a training facility for the homeless.
Sage says, ‘The plasterwork in the building is unbelieveable and I fell in love with the place when I discovered it a year ago. I can’t believe such a gem exists in central London.’
He adds, ‘At the moment, we are hoping to restore the interiors to their original former colours. We have to work closely with Westminster Council and English Heritage to agree the colour scheme as it would have been 200 years ago.
‘The free-standing furniture will be a mix of original antique and contemporary design pieces.’
Sage says he is working with a number of groups on the project, including art and design group Based Upon, which will donate sculptural coffee tables from its Cracked Earth collection, and also create a new work that will use hand-casts from homeless people who have passed through former refuge House of St Barnabas.
Quintessentially Soho will open in mid-September to coincide with London Fashion Week and the London Design Festival, and run until December.