A House for Artists

The first of its kind in the UK, A House for Artists provides flexible living and working spaces for 12 artists and their families.

Looking out through windows at an apartment balcony, in A House for Artists.

Key information




London Borough of Barking & Dagenham



Year of Completion




The project in Barking, London, combines public-facing spaces and artists' studios with housing, including studio workspaces, a community space and a shared working yard that can be opened to the public. 

Residents are offered tenancy at reduced rent in exchange for helping to deliver a free public programme in the community space, removing barriers to arts engagement and fostering inclusive, creative ways of using civic spaces. Working alongside architects, APPARATA, we provided MEP engineering and acoustics for the project. Services are designed for adaptability and flexibility on the residential floors to allow homes to be modified as needs change

The carbon footprint was minimised using a single skin of 50% ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS) concrete, whereby half the cement is substituted with a by-product of the steel industry, and other material build-ups are lean.

The formwork was made using standard reusable parts and left unlined, reducing waste on-site. Exposed ceilings provide thermal mass to reduce overheating, while covered walkways reduce solar gain at the hottest time of day. Dual aspect openings allow natural cross-ventilation, and hot water is provided through a communal air source heat pump. The building has over 20% less embodied carbon than the RIBA 2030 climate challenge target and GLA aspirational target. 

Video for RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist 2023

"This is a thoughtful and assured piece of architecture that has been delivered with rigour and precision. To date, feedback from residents and the local community has been extremely positive. The client team sees the development as a prototype for other community-focused affordable rented housing and, considering the success of the scheme, why not?"

The RIBA Journal Read more
2023 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist
2023 RIBA Neave Brown Award for Housing
2023 RIBA National Award
2023 RIBA London Award
2023 Civic Trust Award