Ocean Studios is a Community Interest Company whose aim is to provide affordable studios for artists within the Royal William Yard, Plymouth. Housed in an old Cooper’s workshop at the redundant Navy base, the project is one of the most ambitious to be realised at the Grade I Listed site.

Ocean Studios provides a range of flexible education spaces, which will host workshops, seminars and conferences, as well as an exhibition and retail space that will allow artists to sell their work. It has created an impressive range of art spaces, ranging from low rent open plan project space for new graduates, to individual studios for established artists, supported by a wide range of well equipped workshops including photography, ceramics and metalwork, plus a stunning gallery space housed behind a glazed colonnade.

The building had an incredible patina from years of neglect and from the outset the aim was to retain this raw and unpolished historic finish, but stop decay and protect the fabric, and compliment it with the crisp new insertions. A range of simple material were employed within the new build elements; with crisp white walls set against the raw stone and materials like OSB and Birch Ply used for texture, durability and character.

The project brings a much-needed cultural and educational focus to the mixed use development at Royal William Yard, and should encourage the burgeoning contemporary art scene in Plymouth to remain within the City.