Situated in the heart of the Dordogne, L'Espace was formerly a disused country barn but under the guidance of a Bordeaux-based English architect it was renovated to provide airy studio space and residential accommodation for those taking courses with Les Soeurs Anglaises. The week long courses were started in 2005 and take place during the summer months with carefully chosen tutors who are experts in their chosen fields. Textile artist Julie Arkell is a regular tutor as is hand-knit design supremo Patricia Roberts. Other courses include book art, photography for designers and makers, and music.
The design of the barn is modern with vintage textiles adding warmth and character. The terrace is accessed from the studio by means of an enormous door which is raised vertically with an electrical motor. There is a self contained apartment with a kitchen and bedroom on the floor above. Three single rooms lead off from the studio and there is a dormitory overlooking the studio. This year a new wing was built, creating space for two more bedrooms and bathrooms. A black swimming pool and the surrounding stone terraces and water gardens were recently built for guests' use. Sculptural and uncompromisingly contemporary the design blends cleverly into the landscape.