At a ceremony in Glasgow on Monday, the 18-member, London-based architecture and design collective Assemble was awarded the Turner Prize, for Granby Four Streets, its collaborative, community-engaged renovations of Victorian-era homes in Liverpool. The annual award is Britain's most prestigious honor for contemporary artists under 50. This is the only the second time the Turner Prize has been awarded to more than one artist (Gilbert & George won in 1986). The winner receives a cash prize of £25,000 ($38,000). In a statement, the prize jury praised Assemble's social justice focus: “They draw on long traditions of artistic and collective initiatives that experiment in art, design and architecture. In doing so they offer alternative models to how societies can work.” Assemble doesn't think of itself as a group of artists, per se. Instead, the collective "[works] across the fields of art, architecture and design. Assemble’s working practice seeks to address the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made. Assemble champion a working practice that is interdependent and collaborative, seeking to actively involve the public as both participant and collaborator in the on-going realization of the work." Granby Four Streets builds on the neighborhood's grassroots, but well established preservation work, recruiting and training young people to renovate the homes for resale. Preservation and investment saves the neglected or run-down rowhouses from demolition. At homegoods store Tramway, Assemble sells handmade household items made by Liverpool residents at the Granby Workshop, a parallel project. In addition to their Liverpool projects, the group built the Baltic Street Adventure Playground, in Glasgow, and Yardhouse, a two-story, three-bay workspace with cheap artist's studios for rent. Some in the media questioned whether an art prize could rightfully go to a group of builders who reject the term artist. Others praised the jury's choice as a recognition of the broad definition of art, and the importance of socially responsive projects. Assemble explains their process and their ambivalence around the term "artist" in this video. The three other nominees were Nicole Wermer’s “Infrastruktur,” Janice Kerbel's "DOUG," and Bonnie Camplin's "The Military Industrial Complex." Last year, Duncan Campbell won for "It for Others," a four episode video series that explores the value of art through Marxism, anthropomorphic ketchup dispensers, and the IRA. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PDFVAE0q7g
Posts tagged with "Liverpool":
The Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, England—a cultural institution with a democratic spirit and a history of producing thespian talent—has topped the competition including Zaha Hadid and won the much sought-after 2014 Stirling Prize from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The new building, designed by Haworth Tompkins, a London-based firm boasting of more than a dozen theater projects, replaces Everyman’s former home in the shell of Hope Hall, a 19th century dissenter’s chapel. Completed in 2013, the new venue now features a 400-seat auditorium, a series of creative workspaces, a sound studio, a “Writer’s Room,” and dedicated spaces for community groups, in addition to a bistro in the basement, a street level café, and several foyers and catering areas. Roughly 25,000 bricks from the original chapel were salvaged and reused for the wrap-around auditorium. This is just one of many sustainable strategies employed, with the goal of achieving a BREEAM Excellent rating, including rooftop rainwater collection, locally-sourced and recycled materials, natural ventilation systems, and a combined heat and power unit to reduce energy consumption. In conceiving the design, the architects sought the feedback of Liverpool locals. The theater’s community-oriented mission is reflected in the “Portrait Wall” mounted on the west-facing facade, which is comprised of 105 aluminum sunshades featuring life-size images of the city's residents. “The new Everyman in Liverpool is truly for every man, woman and child. It cleverly resolves so many of the issues architects face every day. Its context—the handsome street that links the two cathedrals—is brilliantly complemented by the building’s scale, transparency, materials and quirky sense of humour, notably where the solar shading is transformed into a parade of Liverpudlians,” the judges said in a statement. Everyman Theatre beat out high profile projects on the shortlist, such as: Mecanoo’s Library of Birmingham, London Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects, London School of Economics by Saw Swee Hock, Student Centre by O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects, Manchester School of Art by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, and The Shard by Renzo Piano Building Workshop.