Adam Hills and Maria Speake meet at Glasgow School of Art whilst studying for a degree in architecture at the Mackintosh School.
Meet key influencer, Gavin Stamp, History of Architecture professor who gives a strong historical perspective and later becomes an enthusiastic advocate of our efforts.
For nearly 40 years Stamp's column in Private Eye under the pseudonym Piloti waged war on property developers and planning authorities who disfigured British towns through needless destruction and demolition.
Retrouvius is founded, initially as a vehicle for working with the Glasgow conservation world and local demolition firms. Early jobs include several redundant churches.
Retrouvius commissioned to salvage architectural elements for the Brooking Collection from Sir Basil Spence's Queen Elizabeth Square Flats, aka “The Queenies”, in Glasgow’s Gorbals, prior to demolition.
Retrouvius supply items to Trainspotting film set including a pair of reclaimed toilets from the tax office of East Kilbride.
1995 - 1997
Maria does two terms of maternity cover for Liz Davidson at Glasgow Building Preservation Trust.
First interior design project.
Newmilns Tower, a C16th house in the heart of the traditional lace making area in Ayrshire, furnished for rental.
Retrouvius acquire Edinburgh Police Boxes originally designed by Ebenezer McRae circa 1931
Adam and Maria move to London for family reasons and begin to re-establish Retrouvius.
Warehouse bought on Ravensworth Road in Kensal Green for trade storage.
Retrouvius acquire silk screen archive from Cole & Sons and work to reinterpret them with Genevieve Lilley.
Swiss Cottage Library designed by Sir Basil Spence & Partners in 1964 refurbished; Retrouvius save all original bespoke furniture.
Retrouvius begin series of collaborative projects with Nicholas Helm architects.
Collaborative art based project with Martino Gamper, Reiner Spehl and Timorous Beasties to explore re-use and materiality. We stage a show in our Kensal Green space.
Collaboration with Race Furniture
Retrouvius commission reissue of Ernest Race's Rocking Chair (originally designed 1948) from Race Furniture.
We source period fabrics by Lucienne Day and others for upholstery.
Purchase of entire facade of Westmorland slate from Blackfriars office building. An article in The Independent traces the distribution to many clients.
During the demolition of inter-war coastal bungalows Retrouvius salvage several Victorian train carriages.
Retrouvius work on salvaging elements from Norman Foster's Great Court development at The British Museum.
The World of Interiors Cover Story
Complete house for Sam Roddick of Coco De Mer fame with architects Stiff & Trevillion.
photographs by Henry Wilson © The World of Interiors
Rescue entire facade cladding of granite from World Trade Centre in Canary Wharf — damaged by IRA bomb years before.
Second building in Kensal Green purchased for storage, display and as a showroom to tell the Retrouvius re-use philosophy
Retrouvius involved with design of George in Rye boutique hotel with Katie and Alex Clarke.
Wingfield Priory in Suffolk refurbished according to its grade I SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) listing
Introduction of National Lottery funding stimulates many museum renovations. Retrouvius get involved in large scale salvaging of museum cabinets.
Demolition of Heathrow Terminal 2, 1951 by Sir Frederick Gibbert.
Retrouvius purchase entire concourse floor of 2,000 square metres of rare Hopton Wood fossil limestone.
Four projects in Suffolk for organic food champion William Kendall using best ecological practice.
V&A pop-up café for London Design Festival using mahogany cabinets from The Natural History Museum
Off The Floor Exhibition
Exploring 3 salvaged materials; oak drawer bottoms, parquet and fossil limestone with designers Daniel Heath and Fabien Cappello.
Our first book Reclaiming Style published with Ryland Peters and Small
Mahogany display cabinets are salvaged from a variety of famous museums in London, they become a regular stock item at Retrouvius.
Patent Office on Chancery Lane yields a quarter of a km of Victorian adjustable shelving as it relocates to Cardiff and becomes The UK Intellectual Property Office.
Retrouvius begin the construction of a new build house on a local back-land plot. Intended as a showcase for the Retrouvius philosophy of re-use.
Significant demolitions arise from CrossRail construction. Retrouvius salvage many copperlight panels and doors from University of the Arts building.
Complete bespoke space for Lyn Harris & Pefumer H on Marylebone's Crawford Street
Complete Bella Freud's first shop and flagship store on Chiltern Street
Retrouvius complete refurbishment of Kingdom Come — a 60 metre plus 1970's Feadship Yacht for Matthew Freud
25 Years of RETROUVIUS
Working along side Bella Freud, Retrouvius completes an apartment in former BBC Television Centre.
2nd Edition of Reclaiming Style: Using salvaged materials to create an elegant home, is published.
Maria Speake, Creative Director of Retrouvius Design - is House & Garden's Interior Designer of the Year 2019 (photography Ben Broomfield © House & Garden)