The Architecture Ensemble

PROJECT : The Artshed
LOCATION : Soho, London
DATE : 2007

Following the installation of the Wall of Light in St. Annes Garden, it became possible to safely install The Artshed to the street side of the garden in order to provide children and disabled visitors with a limited access public toilet. This has made the garden far more accessible and user friendly to local families and the nearby school and nursery.

The mainly timber building was the result of a collaboration with Elaine Duigenan, a London-based photographic artist, who worked intensively with the architect and community gathering and making material for display within the building's glazed cavity walls. Elaine also produced specially printed polycarbonate panels mounted inside the building as well as to the outside of the large and vault-like backlit timber door that allows entrance to the single room building.

The Artshed was pre-fabricated in White City, London, loaded fully assembled onto a flat bed lorry, and then craned into position in St Annes Garden where the art installation was carried out in a matter of a fortnight in public view. The building was constructed from English spruce and French Oak and clad in English sweet chestnut boarding. In effect, the boat-like building is a mini-museum and art gallery housing objects, photos, and information both old and newly made for the building. The aim was to produce a glimpse of what Soho has been and what it currently is.