Arts centre Somerset House will open an ‘experimental workspace for artists, makers and thinkers’ this autumn, adding to a flurry of new creative spaces colonising London’s The Strand.
Somerset House Studios will take over the building’s New Wing. Details have yet to be announced but a ‘studio manager’ job spec says the space will champion ‘excellence, risk taking and creative collaboration’, providing a base for more than 250 artists, musicians, performers and filmmakers, among others.
It adds: ‘With an acute shortage of affordable workspace, there is an urgent need to bring back a creative community to the centre of London, where ideas are the driver and not ability to pay.’
Meanwhile, earlier this month Brutalist landmark 180 The Strand was reborn as a cultural hub. The building is now home to 10 broadcasting studios, which are temporarily being used by The Hayward Gallery for its off-site show, The Infinite Mix: sound and image in contemporary video.
180 The Strand’s ongoing transformation is being helmed by retail and concept workspace group The Store, the building’s long-lead tenant. It plans to turn the Sir Frederick Gibberd-designed edifice into a destination where London’s creative communities can work, socialise, broadcast and shop.
‘[We will offer] a fusion of many things in one incredible building,’ says Alex Eagle, founder of The Store, which debuted at Soho House Berlin. ‘We believe the future of space is about creating an experience – one that brings together art, broadcasting and a sense of community.’
Dazed Media is set to decamp to 180 The Strand, among other creative organisations. ‘We don’t have studios right now, we just have to hire other people’s and that’s not the future,’ Dazed Media co-founder Jefferson Hack told The Business of Fashion. ‘The future of publishing is broadcast.’
Adding to The Strand’s broadcasting credentials is members’ club Neuehouse, which will open a base inside the Art Deco Adelphi building, fresh from a £30m overhaul. The 65,000 sq ft space – designed by David Rockwell and expected to open in late 2016 – will be the first European outpost for the US group, which provides workspace, studios and screening rooms for creatives.
‘We are eager to become a steward to this rich heritage of creativity and diversity of industries, and to entrench in the city’s inspiring cultural landscape,’ Neuehouse co-founder Joshua Abram told Costar.
It’s not the only US brand with its eyes on The Strand. Just last week, coworking giant WeWork signed a letting agreement for 62,000 sq ft of Aldwych House, spanning four floors and opening in 2017.
Rumours are also swirling that the King’s College building on nearby Surrey Street is being mooted as a hotel, equipped with studios, workspaces and broadcasting studios. We’ll be keeping our ears to the ground to find out more.
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