April 2, 2012

High House Artists Studios win planning and funding

We had two good news days last week as our project in Purfleet, Essex for High House Production Park secured both planning permission and £1m funding from Arts Council England. High House Artists Studios will create 43 very low-rent studio spaces for fine artists in need of affordable space, and includes 4 work-live units.

The project is a very economical design using robust, inexpensive materials in a way that is much more akin to our experience at the Rural Studio - creating a strong aesthetic out of almost 'found' textures. Sitting among the huge warehouses and industrial landscape of Thurrock, overlooking the Thames and the QE2 bridge, the design is about creating hard-wearing spaces across a range of scales that can be colonised by the artists who will occupy it. It's been really interesting working with Acme Studios, who will operate the building, to learn from their experience and evaluation of what artists want from their spaces. It's quite rare for affordable artists' studios to be built from scratch rather than inserted into a converted building, so it's been fun to develop a new language and rationale.

The model below is a 1:50 facade study model we made to explore the elevational language. Full press release here.


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