Sugarhouse Studios

Key Facts:

Project summary: A temporary workshop, cinema and events space in an industrial building marked for demolition.

Location: Sugarhouse Lane, Bow, London, UK

Programme: Bar / Pizzaria, Film Screenings, Events

Initiator: Assemble / OPLC

Project Duration: Approximately 1 year

Lead in Time: 9 months

Site Area: 1575m2

Client Team: OPLC/LLDC

Project Team: Design and architecture collective, Assemble CIC

Funding Sources: OPLC £49k

Project Costs (Build): unknown

Project Costs (Operation): unknown

Profitability/Loss: unknown

Permissions / Permits: Change of use, alcohol licence

Local Links: Reuse of materials from Folly for a Flyover

Publicity/advertising: Website, local advertising, press

Project Evaluation:

Site Details & Ownership:
Former sign-writing factory building to be demolished in 2013 as part of the Sugarhouse Lane masterplan redevelopment by LandProp

Project Reach / Visitors / Target Audience:
The project aimed to create a space in an area in the face of rapid transition. The interim space was commissioned by the OPLC (now LLDC) in order to spread the effect of the Olympic Park into the surrounding communities through arts and culture.

Problems Encountered / Overcome:
The site was and remains difficult to get to, sitting between Bow and Stratford. The space suffered from a lack of walk-in visitors, although when there was an evening event people made the effort to attend and the space was regularly busy.

Feedback from users / staff:
“The space is sparse: it’s cold, it’s grey and, yes, it’s effortlessly cool. The warehouse-like ceiling sits high above the concrete floors, covered in industrial venting and metallic lighting. The simple wooden tables are dull, surrounded by rickety chairs, and criss-cross lattice work across the windows give the room an almost prison-like aesthetic. However, the organisers have worked hard to breathe some life into this drab, ‘to be demolished’ building. Colourful, vibrant flowers and green plants cover the space and sit on some of the tables alongside muted candles, casting a soft light on the harsh surfaces. There’s a cinema area for arthouse films, a ping pong table and even a small garden area with a terrace for alfresco drinking when the weather allows. They did good”.
View London Review

What next?
The building is to be handed to LandProp for demolition and redevelopment from January 2013, the short term future for the venue in this transition period remains in question at the time of writing.

Complementary Programmes: Art Gallery, Bookshop, Library

Project Website / Further Info: