Help us restore our historic home

We are in the third phase of restoring Dora House, our Grade II listed home in South Kensington. 

We need your support to turn our damp, unusable basement into a beautiful, self-contained one-bedroom flat and studio space for visiting artists. 

The restored basement will also provide suitable conditions to house our fascinating archive.

Show your Support: Donate now

Logo for Creating a Home for Sculptors

From A Shocking State of Disrepair...

The basement is currently a no-go area and a risk to the whole building. It is extremely damp with poor wiring and plumbing. In some rooms, such as the former kitchen, the rotten flooring has collapsed and made it unsafe to enter. 

...To A Space for Artists to Create

An exciting new future awaits. Artists in residence will be invited to stay here and to create. It will be a welcoming space, inspired by Dora House's past residents. 

The creative lineage of the building extends from sculptor Cecil Thomas, who generously gifted his former home and studio to the Society in 1976, back to society photographers Elliott & Fry and architects Hugh Casson and Christopher (Kit) Nicholson who all enjoyed living and working here in years gone by.

Multi-Functional Spaces

The studio space will also be available for the Society and the local community to use. 

We will open it up for creative workshops, educational sessions, membership events and the like. It will enable us to extend current school holiday provision as well as evening arts activities.

Restoring the self-contained basement will future-proof the Society financially, offering the option for short occasional lets should the need arise. The Society already has a long-term office tenant.

Two girls sharing the artwork they have made

The project recalls & reinvents Dora House’s creative past as a home & studio space for sculptors, photographers and painters.

Join Our Supporters

We are thrilled to have Garfield Weston Foundation and Backstage Trust on board as early funders of the project. 

We are working to a target of £1m to successfully complete this project. Each and every donation makes the world of difference and is gratefully received. 

Final Phase of Restoration

This is the third and final phase of restorating Dora House. In 2022, we successfully raised £1m to enable the urgent repair of our unique building. Working from the top down, specialist craftspeople made Dora House safe, sound and structurally dry, whilst also restoring the façade to its original glory. Read more here. 

In 2023, we were pleased to install modern, accessible public toilets and baby-changing facilities for the benefit of all visitors to our events and exhibitions.

The restoration will continue to be overseen by the Society’s building committee, alongside Purcell conservation architects and FOCUS consultants who have been working with us throughout. 

Restored entrance to Dora House