Architectural Salvage and Design

Grey enamel factory lights. Solid pine storage boxes previously used to transport museum specimens. Ideal as a storage box or kid's toy box. Solid short utilitarian benches made from steel and timber. Rotating enamelled steel dentists cabinet, probably made by girator - multiple drawers and doors all around. Makes a very solid stylish piece of functional furniture.

Retrouvius, an architectural salvage and design business was founded by partners Adam Hills and Maria Speake. They both studied architecture before starting the business in Glasgow and eventually moving to London. With a motto of “bridging the gap between destruction and construction”, they seek to incorporate some quantity of salvaged material. This is not always easy to spot as it is usually blended with a contemporary feel.

Plywood stackable chairs. Oak and cast iron optometry table with adjustable height base and fold out compartments.

Retrouvius moved into 1016 Harrow Road in 2008. The derelict building, formerly a cleaning company, was in a poor state of repair complete with leaky roof and mouldy carpets and flooring.

Retrouvius shop in Harrow Road

They gutted the entire site and sought to maximise the potential to re-use the building completely reassembled with pretty much every element salvaged material. Mahogany and copper light windows salvaged from an institutional building demolished for London’s Cross Rail link form the new frontage.

Large collector's chest of thin drawers removed from a museum. 78 drawers spanning three columns. Various microscopes from a museum lab with their own individual storage boxes.

In the past few years Retrouvius has been involved with a broad range of domestic and commercial design projects.

Small ex-museum mahogany cabinets. Tubular frame PEL chairs with red upholstery. Small glass funnel lights with red flex. Opaque glass pendant with aluminium stem. Very long Italian table. Made in two sections that bolt together this table is over 6.5 metres long. Gold coated ex-radiator grills.

While some have been very architectural, others are purely bespoke interior design projects, covering buildings constructed as early as the 15th century to other modern structures. Most of their projects have also involved a degree of collaboration with other architects or designers.

Hand woven pure wool vintage welsh blankets.
Carved marble bowl light shade with three hanging chains.

Their architectural salvage stock largely depends on what can be found after demolition. They also stock a range of modernist furniture, as well as mad and quirky pieces.

Geographers poles painted red, black and white. These have been used successfully as hand rails to accompany stair casing.

Often they take things that no-one else wants, while sometimes they acquire very desirable pieces. These are then transformed into their own unique style adding their own touches.

Pairs of wooden knobs removed from museum drawers.