Townhouse Studios in London’s Shepherd’s Bush has been used by some of the biggest stars from the last three decades, including Queen, Coldplay, the Sex Pistols, Robbie Williams – and it was even the place where Elton John recorded Candle In The Wind as a tribute to Princess Diana. But it closed in 2008 and the building in Goldhawk Road has been largely empty since then. The studios were created by Richard Branson for his Virgin record label then – The Charlatans UK* – Some Friendly 1978 and then bought by EMI in 1992 and the Sanctuary Group in 2002. Townhouse Studios in London’s Shepherd’s Bush was used by some of the biggest stars from the last three decades to record their songs, including Queen, Coldplay and the Sex Pistols.
The first four houses are now up for sale through London estate agent Bective Leslie Marsh with the other eight to go on sale next year when the final bit of building work is completed. In that time they played host to bands like Simple Minds, Oasis, Blur, The Jam, Duran Duran, The Killers, Muse and Kaiser Chiefs, as well as singers such as Tom Jones, Sting and Kylie Minogue. Sir Elton John recorded Candle In The Wind, the fastest selling single of all time, there and the renowned ‘Stone Room’ was responsible for the famous drums sound on Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight. It had been created in an existing building that had previously housed Goldhawk Film Studios and was a sort of ‘London residential’ with studios, mastering rooms, accommodation, a canteen and recreation rooms all under one roof. 2million creating the studios and had the best equipment. The studios were created by Richard Branson for his Virgin record label in 1978 and were then bought by EMI and the Sanctuary Group, but were sold in 2008 and left alone.
He said: ‘My instructions from Richard Branson were to build the best studios on the planet. We had the best of everything, and the first of many things. The original two studios were largely designed by Tom Hidley, but later studios were added designed by Sam Toyashima. They were all absolutely state-of-the-art at the time. My days as a recording engineer were waning, I was largely working on special projects for the Virgin Holdings company, but I did do one major project there – the production of mixing Mike Oldfield’s Exposed album.
In the following months the studio had clients such as Frank Zappa, Queen and Phil Collins, to name but a very few. For a while it was the studio to record in. The recording industry as a stand-alone business has all but collapsed now and property prices have inflated out of all proportion so using such buildings as recording studios is no longer viable if they have to pay their way. 8million and 14 months transforming it into 12 four-bedroom mews houses. Since 1984 my principal occupation has been as a studio designer, but I doubt that I will ever build anything like the Townhouse again.
The studio was put up for sale in 2006, relaunched by Sanctuary in 2007 but bought by Universal in June that year and eventually closed and the equipment auctioned off in May 2008. Each property has underfloor heating and designer kitchens. Architectural features have been cleverly used to create interesting elements on each floor with vaulted ceilings, double height atriums and private courtyards, as well as private roof terraces which can be accessed via remotely-operated glass roof lights. The comments below have not been moderated. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. Please forward this error screen to 195. Worried about viruses on your Android phone after the recent spate of attacks on the popular handsets?
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