Architecture group Assemble has scooped a 2015 Turner Prize nomination for revitalising a cluster of terraced houses in Liverpool.
‘In an age when anything can be art, why not have a housing estate?’ said judge Alistair Hudson.
Local residents invited Assemble – an 18-strong team of designers, architects and artists – to help save the houses on Granby Four Streets in Toxteth, which had been neglected and earmarked for demolition in the wake of the 1981 riots.
Assemble used recycled and low-cost materials to revamp the houses, proposing a ‘winter garden’ in the empty shell of one of the buildings.
The Granby Four Streets project is part of a series of works by the group that give new life to derelict or vacant spaces, involving the public ‘as both participant and collaborator’. Past projects include ‘Folly for a Flyover’, which saw a disused motorway undercroft transformed into a summer arts venue.
Assemble have secured their spot on the Turner Prize shortlist alongside Bonnie Camplin, nominated for ‘The Military Industrial Complex’, which took the shape of a study room that explored issues like mental health.
Canadian artist Janice Kerbel caught judges attention for ‘DOUG’, a performance piece of nine songs for six voices.
German Nicole Wermers is the fourth contender, nominated for ‘Infrastruckur’ – an installation at London’s Herald Street gallery, for which she covered modernist chairs in fur, exploring consumer culture and the relationship between taste and design.
Commenting on the shortlist, Alistair Hudson said all the projects continue a long tradition of using art to improve society, ‘addressing real situations and trying to take part in the world.’
An exhibition of work by the four shortlisted artists will run from 1 October 2015 until 17 January 2016 at Tramway, Glasgow. The winner will be announced at an award ceremony on Monday 7 December 2015.