lambeth art school property

Property of the Month: A converted Lambeth art school that trained the greats

25 Jun 2024 | |By Anna Solomon

Once the creative home of Henry Doulton and (perhaps) Vincent Van Gogh, this Victorian schoolhouse has been modernised by the former editor of a top interiors magazine

Our Property of the Month is one of those ‘if you know, you know’ properties. For example, if you are in the know, you’ll be aware that real Londoners don’t necessarily live in opulent apartments in Mayfair – they buy trendy conversions from home stylists in charming enclaves of lesser-explored areas. The home stylist being, in this case, Alexander Wegner, partner of business executive Tobias Hestler, and the lesser-explored area being Lambeth.

The property was once Lambeth School of Art, built in 1860 on St Oswald’s Place – the then Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone. Vincent Van Gogh is thought to have attended classes here, and Henry Doulton (of Royal Doulton fame) exhibited works by the students, many of whom went on to work for him. In 1937, the school changed its name to the City and Guilds of London Art School, and numerous high-profile artists from the 19th and early 20th centuries received their training here.

The building now comprises six properties; this is Studio One, which occupies two floors of one wing, accessed via a private courtyard. Studio One was originally converted by the architect Tony Fretton in the 1980s; by the time Hestler and Wegner, who was the editor of a leading interiors magazine before he began working as a furniture and accessories stylist, bought it in 2017, it had naturally become dated, and the pair set about redesigning.

lambeth property

Unsurprisingly, the result is an eminently tasteful home which still manages to reference its history. The Grade II*-listed building offers 2,300 square feet of light-filled living space, as well as the perfect combination of classic architecture and modern comforts.

One of the best things about this property is that it still boasts the cavernous proportions of the old school, felt most keenly in the reception room, which has 14-foot ceilings. The bespoke kitchen, meanwhile, looks onto the private courtyard and has been crafted in wood by a local carpenter. That’s not all for the epicureans: there is also a pantry, larder and ‘wine cave’ which stores up to 70 bottles. 

Despite the studio moniker, the home actually houses three bedrooms, with the master boasting the same high ceilings as the living room, as well as a dressing room and an ensuite with an AGAPE bathtub and Bert & May tiles. This space was originally an atelier but was converted by the current owners to make more room for the bathroom and dressing room. The further two bedrooms and a second Jack-and-Jill bathroom are upstairs. As well as the cobbled courtyard, there is a communal garden and a parking space. 

The building’s history is also felt through a series of period features: the floors are those of the original classrooms, as are a couple of special pieces including a large wooden table that came from a cloister, and three wood-carved statues which belonged to the church next door. 

Additionally, Hestler and Wegner are prolific art collectors, and there is the opportunity for a buyer to purchase some of their collection by separate negotiation, so you can really embody the spirit of the school and continue to fill its walls with beautiful work. 

Studio One is priced at £3,000,000, visit

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