Somerset House has announced it will open its own affordable workspace for creatives, aiming to address the acute shortage of creative studio space in London “which has seen an accelerating exodus of artists due to rising rents and redevelopment”.
Somerset House Studios will host 100 “artists, makers and thinkers” in “experimental” studio, rehearsal and project spaces, designed to support the residents’ varied and changing practice. The already-established Makerversity – which houses workspace for professional makers with cutting edge workshops – will now come under the studios’ umbrella.
A small group of creatives were invited to pilot Somerset House Studios including artists Christian Marclay and Katie Paterson, designer Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, fashion designers Gareth Pugh and Charles Jeffrey, and architecture studio Minimaforms. They will be joined by up to 25 new arrivals, selected through an open application process.
The former Inland Revenue offices have been undergoing a major renovation over the last few years, with the west wing overhauled and the new wing incorporating exhibition space, restaurants and offices. This latest addition represents 36,000sq ft of former office space, also in the new wing, transformed into 35 shared and private studios. It aims to attract creatives across visual art, music, performance, dance, live art, fashion, film, art and technology.
A free exhibition of work by the pilot studio members will launch the initiative; Studio 01 opens from 27 October – 6 November.
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