Shape shifters: the dramatic barn that’s a live-work space for two sculptors

This fabulous industrial scale home and studio even has room for a forklift…

The Matt Black Barn is a “forklift-friendly” live-work space belonging to the renowned British sculptors, Laura Ford and Andrew Sabin. It sits between the villages of Emsworth and Bosham, just north of Chichester harbour. “To the south are trees, a field or two and then the sea,” explains Sabin. “To the north, some fields and then the South Downs.” It is a world apart from their previous live-work space – a converted pianola factory in Kentish Town, London.

Before the Matt Black Barn, there was (and still is) the Brown Barn – a beaten-up, 6,000sqft industrial barn that the couple bought in 2014. It served as a vast storage space for their collected works and was conveniently located between their London home and their family-owned holiday home in Selsey. “We just really started to enjoy working there,” recalls Ford. “We worked there more and more in the summer months, and found that it gave us a lot more freedom. We also just enjoyed the bits between work – having a cup of tea outside and looking at the birds. It was this completely different atmosphere.”

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