Assemble Studio

Assemble Studio

  • Granby four streets, Liverpool
  • Illustration for Granby Workshop
  • Granby four streets, Liverpool
  • Assemble’s Sugarhouse studio in Stratford, London
  • The Cineroleum, temporary cinema installation in closed gas station, London
I december sidste år talte jeg med Lewis Jones, en af grundlæggerne bag Assemble, omkring gruppens særlige metoder og tværfaglige tilgang til byfornyelsesprojekter. De sidste fem år har projekter såsom The Granby Workshops, Spirit of Play og deres første projekt Cineroleum vundet international anderkendelse; senest The Turner Prize, som ellers normalt er en kunstpris. Før vi gik hvert til sidst viste han mig omkring i The Sugarhouse Studios - deres arbejdssted i Stratford, London.

Writing about Assemble is stepping outside of the framework i have put up for myself on this platform. The collective of 15 members are centred around architecture, art and design processes in cityscapes and the communities within, whereas landscapes and seascapes are less explored. Yet there is some reason for doing so, as they engage in issues with particular methods, which are beneficial to see in relation to how we work with landscape. 

Addressing disconnections between the public and the processes in relation to where places are formed, they have since the project Cineroleum in 2010 created alternative ways of re-using buildings, formed temporary installations and permanent architecture and created models for citizens to be active and empowered within their community.

Their attitude is playful and centred around making, whether it being objects, architecture, models or processes. 

Granby Four Streets is a cluster of terraced houses in Liverpool which, since the 1980’s, have been abandoned and left in dereliction. A core group of local residents have fought the development plans and for the past 10 years have amongst other things maintained the neighbourhood, organised a monthly local market and founded a community land trust (CLT). Assemble was together with Steinbeck Studios invited to come up with a scheme for translating and communicating the work of the CLT and the community, as well as assisting them in refurbishing the houses and the neighbourhood as well as finding new ways for the area to thrive and grow in population.

Assembles proposal for Granby Four Streets, which they earlier in december 2015 won the Turner Prize for, is celebrating the values within the areas cultural and architectural heritage, as well as supporting community involvement.

An organisation named Granby Workshops are hosting social entreprise. Valuing the encounters between young designers and architects with local citizens in training and employing people in producing objects and managing the workshops, they are selling a number of unique local products made of re-used materials from the refurbishment of the terrace houses.

Assembles catalogue of work is filled with sensitive interventions and interactions like this, and where Granby Four Streets is a good way of showing that Assemble are not magicians making gold where there was none, but that they are tapping into values lying within communities and existing architecture, and building upon a strong collaboration between partners and active citizens, and where it is key to see their methods of work as the source of innovation.

Nina Wöhlk



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