Magdalen Road Studios

Magdalen Road Studios received an OxFutures grant to install LED lighting, insulation, and infrared heaters to make the space a more welcoming environment for artists and visitors.

The project

Following a free energy assessment, Magdalen Road Studios – an arts charity run for the benefit of the community – learnt that by upgrading their lighting and heating systems they could reduce their energy bills and cut their carbon emissions. The building was also very poorly insulated and therefore a cold and uncomfortable space to work in the winter.

They approached our GreenFund with an application to fund these changes and received a grant of £10,000. The remaining costs were funded through Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP). 

OxLEP funded work

The work to replace the roof has increased the daylight by 30% through transparent roof-lights that defuse UV light. The previous roof was an asbestos uninsulated construction and leaked.  Together with faulty drain pipes and guttering this had previously made the space very damp. 

OxFutures funded work

The new LED lighting not only saves energy, but has three settings so artists can choose the type of light they want: white light, warm light, or daylight equivalent. Infrared heaters with sensors – which instead of heating the air, heat objects, surfaces, and people in a room directly – have also been added as suspended units from the ceiling, which allows the Studios to be heated flexibly depending on occupancy. 

The roller doors at the front of the building have been retained, but these and all the solid exterior walls have been insulated with 100mm of Rockwool, to improve the thermal efficiency of the building. The roof insulation minimises heat losses in winter, reduces heat gains in summer, improves comfort levels for visitors and reduces annual energy bills by reducing the amount of energy needed to heat the building.

Additional improvements

A fire corridor and visitor route has been included in the building upgrade, which enables full wheelchair access to the individual studio spaces, without the previous inconvenience of walking through other studios.

The Studios is now at full capacity and has 22 artists in residence. 

grant funding given through OxFutures