Dezeen Magazine

Studio Richter Mahr in Oxfordshire, designed by Charlie Luxton Design

Charlie Luxton Design reworks Oxfordshire farmhouse to create Studio Richter Mahr

Composer Max Richter and visual artist Yulia Mahr have set up a multimedia production studio inside a former farmhouse in Oxfordshire, which Charlie Luxton Design has updated with more sustainable features.

Bordered by 31 acres of forested woodland, Studio Richter Mahr will serve as a space where both emerging and established creatives can come to develop their work.

White wood-panelled room in multimedia studio designed by Charlie Luxton Design
Studio Richter Mahr is a multimedia production studio in a former farmhouse

Richter and Mahr – who are collaborators as well as a couple – first had the idea for the site some 20 years ago.

"Studio Richter Mahr is about dreaming the future into existence, a better way to live and work," said Mahr. "It's about forward motion and borderless creativity. It's about offering time and opportunities for people to really experiment."

The studio occupies a farm building that had already been modernised to a decent standard but needed adjusting to reduce the operational carbon footprint of the new amenities on site. Local practice Charlie Luxton Design was assigned to the task.

White-hued dining area with skylights in Studio Richter Mahr in Oxfordshire
New skylights allow natural light to flood the facility's interior

The building's roof now accommodates solar panels that provide electricity to the site and several skylights to reduce the need for artificial lighting.

To keep the building warm, air-source heat pumps were installed alongside a ventilation system powered using recovered heat.

Wood-panelled recording studio with simple chair in Studio Richter Mahr in Oxfordshire
A large picture window features in the orchestral recording studio

Charlie Luxton Design preserved the building's original steel framework to conserve its embodied carbon and celebrate the site's agricultural past.

The existing concrete floor slab was also retained and strengthened in some areas.

Inside, the studio houses a series of state-of-the-art creative spaces devised with the help of sound architect Eleni Papadopoulou at specialists Level Acoustic Design and Studio Creations. This includes a video editing suite, programming room, art studios and a Dolby Atmos sound mixing room alongside an exhibition area and a cafe that creates dishes from produce grown on-site.

The plan culminates in a spacious orchestral recording room fronted by a huge picture window that offers uninterrupted views across the rural landscape.

Charlie Luxton Design applied a restrained material palette throughout the interior.

Most of the walls were washed with textured lime plaster or overlaid with Dinesen oak boards while the building's exterior was clad with simple black metal to contrast the surrounding greenery.

"The brief was always to be very simple, using quality materials," founder Charlie Luxton told Dezeen.

Recording studio with simple grey swivel chairs in recording studio by Charlie Luxton Design
Many of the studio's rooms are clad with timber

Going forward, Richter and Mahr plan to add more amenities including an on-site creche with the aim of hosting artist residencies and composer labs.

This isn't the first time a farm building has been repurposed for creative pursuits. Last year, Studio Bua converted a derelict Icelandic barn into an artist's studio and holiday home.

The workspace sits inside a double-height gabled volume that was erected within the site's existing time-worn walls.

The photography is by Lorenzo Zandri.