I’m sure that you’ve all heard of the Turner prize, even if you don’t follow the arts world. The shortlist of the artists considered for this prestigious prize is available to see online here.
The Turner prize is awarded to british artists under 50 years of age for the presentation of their work up to a year preceding the award being awarded to one of the nominees.
The nomination which we’ll be talking about in this post is a nominee called Assemble. You may have heard of them, they’re becoming quite popular. They’re a London-based group of 18 designers, architects and architectural students under 30, who were nominated for their work in transforming some run down houses in Toxteth.
The estate in question was being neglected to the point that rows of boarded up windows and half demolished buildings were becoming a normal sight there in the rather abandoned area. However, when you turn onto Cairns Street, it comes to life with lots of people, climbing plants, trees and markets with trainee builders creating scaffolding across the frontages of the homes either side of the road. Bringing it back to life.
The residents of the area were not happy with the idea of demolishing the buildings when in the past, there had been schemes and plans which promised to renovate these buildings (which came to no avail). Therefore, they took the matter into their own hands by establishing a community land trust, taking ownership of the derelict buildings from the council and renovating them themselves. The community land trust, and project attracted a Jersey based investor – Steinbeck Studios, to put together a plan for the area, which was drawn up by Assemble.
“We want to retain the generosity and flexibility of the original buildings,” says Assemble’s Lewis Jones, pointing out how nearby pathfinder new-builds have much meaner windows and tighter space standards. “We’re also celebrating the idiosyncrasies of what’s already there: if a floor is missing, why not leave it out and have a double-height space? There isn’t the usual pressure to extract the maximum possible value from the site and put profit before people.” [Source].
Find out more about Assemble here.