Founded by Adam Hills and Maria Speake, Retrouvius are driven by the belief that good materials and well-made things are precious.
The Retrouvius story began in the mid nineties as a reaction to the horror of demolition witnessed in Glasgow when Adam and Maria were studying. Now, housed across sites in Kensal Green, Retrouvius increasingly understands its mission to be something more fundamental: to enable and inspire reuse, not just as a design preference, but as an attitude, a principled process and a way of life.
Maria Speake leads the design studio at Retrouvius. Founded to help stoke imagination and inspira- tion, our ambition is to satisfy our clients, but also to educate them. We offer simple, practical advice that helps empower people to understand how buildings are made and how materials are used. Taking only a few interior and architectural projects each year, the studio applies the Retrouvius ethos to all types of building: from contemporary penthouse to medieval priory, yacht to boutique.
In the simplest terms, Retrouvius reuses materials, furniture, lighting and fixtures, to continue their life in the architectural and interior projects that we design. We question architecture, construction and design to understand the potential for reuse from the outset. There is an undeniable feel-good fac- tor in reuse: something unloved becomes valuable again. It is a process that celebrates age as a visceral narrative – a counterbalance to the blandness of newness. We celebrate the natural expression of ma- terials and the construction process. Patina, scars and wrinkles communicate the texture of time and use. Reused materials have a tactile personality and an emotional quota that is grounding an unique.