Studio Int 04: Im/Permeable

Studio brief

The way we access cultural and public buildings is fundamental to our engagement with them: how familiar we are within them, and the degree to which we feel a sense of ownership of them. In particular the re-use of older buildings presents both the resident and the visitor with conditions and restrictions; throwing down a challenge to disclose and reveal what might originally have been designed as closed and private. We will focus on scenography: the site and building as an architectural stage set, choreographing immersive interactions and creating a ‘theatre of the everyday’.

The challenge: How do we make permeable the impermeable?
The focus: La Friche – Marseille / The Bussey Building – Peckham

Both are inner-city factory sites reconceived as cultural hubs housing multiple residents: theatre and dance companies, creative industry start-ups, performance, event and recreational spaces, galleries and studios. Both sit resolutely within their local and regional communities. Both have a strong community emphasis and a shared desire to experiment with and engage with their neighbours.

For thirty and twenty years respectively the two sites have been generating, creating and supporting artistic and urban freedom, helping to realise a playground for society and a home for artistic adventure.

How do we use these buildings in a way that celebrates, unearths and reveals the history and fabric of the structure whilst being of today, of the moment, and of the future? What are the tools both old and current that can be applied to help us realise our aims?

We will develop interior propositions to create focal points, diversions, interruptions and activators to encourage the engagement of audiences with the multiple facades within the building. Spaces may be reimagined and intervened with to form playgrounds and performance spaces: transitory, flexible work/play-space or temporal rest space.

View of a building through a fence


Course Interior Design BA (Hons) 
Tutor Andrew (Sid) Siddall (email)
Suzanne Smeeth-Poaros
Where Calcutta House
Studio 4, first floor CM1-12
When Tuesday and Friday

Interiors studios


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