Practice Profile: InsideOut

Interpreted Identities features ten installations from architects and artists. For each, designers chose to interpret the identity of an extraordinary woman through architectural means. 

Many of these extraordinary women worked and lived in this local area. These installations celebrate community and architecture in union on Union Street — London, SE1.

We spoke to London-based architecture studio, InsideOut, whose folly interprets the identity of #Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, to find out more about the firm and the reason why they chose Conseulo. 

Why did you choose your extraordinary woman?
Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, former Duchess of Marlborough, believed in balance and logic, not in the militant views of many suffragists. “Her story is one of true personhood rather than class or gender struggle…” as summarised in Dan Fang’s critical biography of Consuelo.

InsideOut’s approach to the folly is focused on the shift that occurred in Consuelo’s life. As she moved into a life focussed on philanthropy and service, she chose to use the ordered wealth and privilege from her previous life to reach out into the community to make a difference.

To mirror this, coloured ribbon-like elements will represent Consuelo’s multiple talents and gifts. Weaved orderly and tightly to one side of the folly, the individual ribbons will start to unravel and stretch in different directions to loosely create shelter and a sense of space and playfulness that the community can use and make their own.

The history of the Marlborough Sports Garden owes its existence to Consuelo who decreed that “Surplus land from an insanitary area between Borough High Street and Red Cross Street should be used as a recreation ground”.

This great park launched in May 2018 is now being used for just that. 

About InsideOut
InsideOut create experience-led architecture and interiors that quietly enable and inspire life to take place long after their involvement. Specialising in luxury residential, hospitality and multi-unit residential, InsideOut are involved from concept to delivery, offering a tailored approach to each project. 
As a practice, InsideOut strive to integrate sustainable design and materials into all projects, but more recently InsideOut have been working on Passivhaus schemes that emphasise their commitment to both the environment and timeless design. 

6-8 Cole Street
London, SE1 4YH

+44 (0) 207 367 6831

To find out more about the Interpreted Identities design challenge, click here.

Olivia Mudie