South London Open Studios

Open Studio activities are in abundance in June, the South London hub practices started the month off in style. With a wide variety of events across the 4 hub days, I endeavoured to see as much as possible.

MSMR Architects explored their global network of projects, staff and open studio visitors. Upon arrival at the practice you were asked to plot your journey to a large courtyard map. Throughout the day, as the number of visitors grew so did the map. The experience then continued with  orescent way nding leading you to MSMR’s studio space, with an exhibition showcasing their portfolio of works, particularly involving their local community.

 The City Mix Symposium with Maccreanor Lavington and David Cotterrell explored through various perspectives, the role and value of mixed-use space within the city, along with the impor- tance of such spaces in supporting the cities complex ecology. Presentations from an expert panel highlighted the different viewpoints around the utilisation and planning of our urban fabric. A very engaging and re ective afternoon.

Ben Adams Architects’ exhibition within their studio space in Southwalk asked visitors to question and share their opinions on urban living and how this might change in the future. Data collect- ed from the open studio will help to inform the research that BAA are currently undertaking and ultimately in uence the architecture produced by the practice moving forward.

Formation Architects were the next stop on the South London Open Studios hub trail. Having recently relocated, the practice were keen to show off their new open plan space, along with their array of projects happening across London and Cambridge. Architect Luis Perezebad, gave an expert tour of Formation’s work, guiding me through every project on display from completed award winning buildings to future developments.

Stride Treglown’s Open Studio exhibition explored the effects of digital communications technology on our lives and its impact on architecture. The exhibit showed how heavily invested the practice is in digital technology. I particularly enjoyed the use of Virtual Reality headsets to bring to life the experience of new projects. Stride Treglown’s deeply rooted historical commitment to technology was on display with the practice’s  rst 1984 Macintosh PC in full working order!

The vast industrial style studio space of Karakusevic Carson Architects showcased a splendid display of community-focused projects. Live presentations from project architects further highlighted the practice’s wider commitment to social engagement. By interacting with local residents, collaboration with the community is strong throughout their design process, helping to build excellent homes and happy neighbourhoods.

The bustling East Street Market was the next location and perfect platform for the marvellous partnership between Studio Gil, the Carnaval del Pueblo Association and students from Studio55 of the University of Brighton. Live project installations brought extra vibrancy, carnival spirit and Latino  avours to the market. With drinks supplied by James Goreing’s Brazilian Cocktail making ma- chine and Josh Dobson’s alternative market stall that did not fail to make you smile.

WestonWilliamson+Partners were the  final stop on my South London Open Studio tour. Chris Williamson presented to a full house the concept initiated and promoted by the practice of Transport Oriented Development and the impact this has on shaping communities. The immense amount of experience and knowledge of the practice was evident in the work displayed. Visitors were also treated to a glimpse into the future of some great UK and interna- tional infrastructure projects.

The breath of innovative and imaginative projects that South London practices are engaged in is mightily impressive. I am now eager to see what the West London practices have up their sleeves, with them opening their doors from 9th to 12th June.

Georgie BrownComment