Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Space Odyssey; One Third of the Capital's Artists' Studios Will Have Vanished by 2020 but a Clutch of Schemes Are Leading the Search for Affordable Creative Spaces

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Space Odyssey; One Third of the Capital's Artists' Studios Will Have Vanished by 2020 but a Clutch of Schemes Are Leading the Search for Affordable Creative Spaces

Article excerpt

Byline: Robert Bevan Architecture Critic

EIGHT hundred self-build artists' studios are set to be carved out a disused Peckham multi-storey car park if Southwark planners give the go-ahead to the Bold Home scheme in the coming weeks.

The project is a collaboration between techpreneur and Standard columnist Rohan Silva and his Second Home workspace company co-founder Sam Aldenton, together with Bold Tendencies, Hannah Barry's not-forprofit company that has been running the car park as an arts space incorporating Frank's rooftop bar.

It is one of a clutch of schemes that aims to address the chronic shortage of affordable creative space in the capital as developers push south and east though London, snapping up old industrial buildings for residential use and forcing out the pioneering artists who brought fresh life to areas such as Shoreditch and Hackney Wick.

Artists' studios are vital to London's creative economy but are vanishing fast. A report last year for the Mayor found 11,500 artists working across 298 sites. This was already problematically low in a city that has some 35,000 art and design graduates each year adding to the roster of London's practising artists. But it is estimated that one third of these studios will have vanished by 2020 even though one in six new jobs created in the capital are in the creative industries.

And while the YBA generation of artists might have paid less than PS50 per month for an inner-London studio, PS500 is not untypical today. Artists are increasingly using studios on a timeshare or shift basis. The Peckham proposals will see local artists and creative businesses inhabit their own "favela" structures in the parking decks, guided by Spanish practice SelgasCano. Rents will be just PS100 a month plus PS50 for bills.

However, repurposing an existing structure for studios is becoming ever harder as suitable empty warehouses and factory buildings are converted into expensive apartments. …

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