Hackney Downs Studios

A project exploring 'sliding' as the main form of transforming a space for dual functionality. This project is based on the shopfront of the famous Hackney Downs Studios in London. Scroll down to see process images and sketches of how this space came to life.

The brief asked for a dual-function interior, that explored sliding as the main form of transformation between the two uses, which were a Display Shop for the residents of the studios nearby, and a Youth Art Club for local students. From the first visit to the site, it was possible to note a lack of natural light within the existing building. The above photos show the difference in lighting when the roof is removed.

Due to the space having to cater to children, it needed to feel welcoming. No child wants to leave school and go somewhere that feels like a classroom. To tackle the challenge I wanted to use arches and rounded shapes, along with soft timber to make the space look and feel more fun than just a classroom. I didn’t use a lot of colour assuming the art projects themselves would colour up the room. The drawing above describes how both spaces would work separately, as well as the table and chairs that would allow space to be used for other things rather than storage.