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Published
Oct 20, 2016
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Somerset House to open affordable studios for artists & designers

Published
Oct 20, 2016

Somerset House is transforming 36,000 sq ft of former Inland Revenue offices into studios for artists, makers, thinkers and designers.


Designer Charles Jeffrey at Somerset House Studio - Image by Dan Wilton


Created as a solution to the acute shortage of affordable and secure studio space in London, which is leading to an accelerating exodus of artists due to rising rents, Somerset House Studios will support up to 300 artists by providing them with a workspace that is affordable and centrally located.

Situated inside Somerset House’s New Wing, the project will include 35 shared and solo occupancy studio, rehearsal and project spaces. Residents already include fashion designer Gareth Pugh, who according to the Evening Standard left his studio in Dalston earlier this year due to a planned redevelopment.

Other artists currently working in the space include fashion designer Charles Jeffrey, musicians Anna Meredith and LoneLady, visual artists Christian Marclay, Katie Paterson and Larry Achiampong and Internet artist LaTurbo Avedon, among others.

They will be joined by up to 25 new arrivals in 2017, who will be selected through an open application process, launching on 26 October 2016.

“We believe that by giving over space to some of the best artists, makers and thinkers in the centre of the city, we will be doing three vitally important things,” said Jonathan Reekie, Director of Somerset House.

“Firstly, we will be making a new kind of space that is needed to support the practice of today’s artists, who are thinking and working in very different ways across artistic disciplines. Secondly, we feel strongly that artistic talent should not be marginalised and driven out of the city, but has a place in one of London’s iconic buildings. Thirdly we want the brightest new creative voices to be experienced by a bigger audience.”

With the arrival of Somerset House Studios, Somerset House aspires to redefine the arts centre for a 21st-century audience and create a place where innovative art will be imagined, made and exhibited.

The landmark London building will offer residencies for up to two and a half years. Rent will be calculated using a base rent equivalent to the London average for artist workspace rate, as identified by the Mayor of London in 2014.

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