WHAT architecture - London

Art Cell

Scale sqm
LocationLondon, UK
Design Year2000

Although small in scale, this project has massive potential in terms of how we could see and use tomorrow's urban fabric and is thus a prototype for other projects. Although the city is often considered as being dense with no available sites for building,  in reality the urban fabric is full of holes particularly if we lift our heads up. Off the ground, airspaces can be identified as the  gaps, cracks and fissures between buildings. The Art Cell occupies a 2-3m gap between Police and Fire Stations and a block of flats. In utilising CNC cut solid wood panel technology from Finn Forest, a small 12sqm artists studio can be precisely cut in a German factory and trucked to London for easy one-day fabrication and craned installation. The project has already been granted
Planning Permission.


The Art Cell offers the following benefits:

1 Sustainable Development

Achieves mutually reinforcing economic, social and environmental benefits without compromising the needs of future generations


2 Urban Land-Use Intensification and


Utility Creation Creates functionality on a site which currently has no use; an existing void now has higher development  density through an infill programme

3 Social Empowerment


Provides "the man in the street" with an opportunity to create their own working space

4 Artistic Value

This is not another temporary art folly but a functioning artist's workspace. East London has the highest concentration of artists in Europe and LBTH planning policies recognise the value of artistic expression