Yinka Ilori Collaborates with Sam Jacob for New London Studio

Designer and artist Yinka Ilori has collaborated with London-based architect Sam Jacob to create a new home for himself and his team. Located on an industrial estate in north west London, the new studio incorporates the bright colours and playful shapes associated with Ilori’s work, and marks the pair’s first ever collaboration.

In contrast to its largely grey surroundings, the studio’s facade features vinyl across its windows in bright patterns. Upon entering the space, a foyer sees models of Ilori’s chairs displayed inside plinths, while a prototype from his recently completed children’s playground project provides a place to perch. Towards the back of the studio, a communal area is framed by bright green curtains, and a wall of chairs displayed on shelves. “The team sit here and eat lunch together religiously, which I really like,” Ilori says.

Keen to keep the space flowing, and opting to avoid walls as much as possible, Ilori and Jacob devised curtain partitions, for which they used Peter Savile’s technicolour collaboration with Danish brand Kvadrat. “I’m from a huge Nigerian family, so I’m used to never being alone” Ilori explains. “I prefer to be around people, rather than being shut away by myself.”

Ilori’s past projects are scattered around the space: his bespoke laundry machines from his “Launderette of Dreams” exhibition for LEGO are next to a small kitchenette, while his homeware collection is used by the team at mealtimes. Also on display is a portrait of Ilori’s grandmother, in a bid to pay tribute to his family’s influence on his work.

Ilori and Jacobs’ collaboration came about after the designer put out an open call for an architect to design his studio. Jacobs replied, and proposed a concept that Ilori was keen to take forward. “It’s been an incredible experience collaborating with Sam on this unique and personal project,” he said. “We have a lot of common ground in the way we incorporate whimsy, elements of playfulness and storytelling into our work and it was fascinating to be able to exchange views on how we both deal with the idea of space.”

“In my work, I’m always looking to create a sense of energy, elevate mood and evoke feelings,” Jacob added. “I’m also always looking to see how we can push a project beyond what you would normally expect. Colour has a hugely profound impact and effect on the feeling of a space. It’s been amazing to see how Yinka incorporates colour, and to see the effect that this has on the sensation of space.”

Elsewhere in London, Studio McW has extended a London apartment to create a work-from-home haven for a young couple.

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