Design competition for new furniture at Toynbee Hall entrance lobby
Cass 3D Studio 3 is working with Cass Projects and Toynbee Hall to design and make a piece of furniture for Toynbee’s new entrance and exhibition space in Aldgate. The Toynbee Hall buildings are currently undergoing refurbishment, and are to re-open in June 2017 with a new building and restored visitor, staff, heritage and residency areas.
Students have been asked to propose two pieces of ‘Furniture for the 21st Century Social Reformer’ in recognition of Toynbee Hall founders Samuel and Henrietta Barnett. The Barnetts were nineteeth century social reformers who lived and worked in the area, establishing Toynbee Hall, the Whitechapel Gallery and East End Dwellings amongst other institutions.
Toynbee and the Whitechapel were opened with the view that education is a form of empowerment and that everyone should have access to art, music literature and learning. To this end a ‘University Settlement’ was created at Toynbee, where resident volunteers lived and worked amongst the local community, sharing their facilities with what was then a notorious area of London, famous for slum housing, prostitution, beggars and criminals.
Toynbee Hall’s capital redevelopment reflects its social investment in the Aldgate area and beyond. The facilities will provide a new heritage entrance/exhibition area and visitor learning facilities in the restored 1884 building, well-being support in the new building at 28 Commercial Street (Profumo House) and a joint project with Tower Hamlets to open Mallon Gardens as an accessible public space. 3D Studio 3’s Furniture for the 21st Century will feature underneath portraits of Samuel and Henrietta Barnett in the entrance and exhibition area that presents the rich heritage of Toynbee Hall.
Following presentations and reviews to Toynbee, the pieces to be displayed will be selected by the team at Toynbee Hall in May 2016, and will feature in the restored building from 2017.