The area once known as the Cardroom Estate in Manchester is undergoing extensive transformation into what is now called New Islington. One of those transformations is in the form of new artist studios within an old cotton mill. Through our material choice, we focused on creating a safe, collaborative community environment that addressed both the problem of artist isolation as well as the need for individual space. Our proposal called for using reclaimed shipping pallets as a tribute to the industrial roots of Manchester, as well as for their multiple layers of screening. A series of frames that hold several pallets serve as walls and doors which can be configured in various ways to allow for single bay studios, multiple bay studios and extensive display and gallery space (over 44 linear meters). By simply rolling a door one way or another, spaces that were once enclosed became open, and walls transform into display space. The increased visibility through the open configuration and pallets allow for increased communication and interaction; however, if the tenant needs privacy, simple personalization of the space with curtains or rolling the door closed provides seclusion. In addition to the shifting display space, a permanent gallery/exhibition area is designated, along with an artist’s lounge. With the competition budget set at $7,400 or less, our material choices provided an estimated cost of only $5,000 and provided 18 artists bays.
In collaboration with Nicholas Banks.