The Turner Prize 2016 nominated, ‘Assemble’, the architecture and design collective, have announced a new commission from Art on the Underground. This is the official art programme for Transport for London (TfL), and will take place at Seven Sisters Tube station. The project is part of Underline, a series of commissions for the Victoria line in 2015-16.
From early next year the architecture and design collective, known for their social intervention projects, will set up a base in a disused shop in the station entrance. Through an initial period of research, Assemble will bring the former shop unit back in to use, establishing it as an on-site base and place of production and experimentation for the local community. They will also invite ceramicists, station staff and local residents to take part in experiments such as tile making and ceramic glazing, which together will inform a final design to be realised along the station approach in the summer, with further iterations at all stations along the Victoria line.
Assemble aim for their intervention to be joyful, allowing space and time for experimentation to be developed in collaboration with the local area, building on the area’s existing character whilst setting up long-term relationships to benefit the site and its users. It will also draw on current local initiatives such as London Underground’s nature programmes.
Assemble are a collective based in London who work across the fields of art, architecture and design. They began working together in 2010 and are comprised of 18 members. Assemble’s working practice seeks to address the typical disconnection between the public and how places are made. Nominated for the 2015 Turner Prize for their work Granby Four Streets, Assemble collaborated with the Granby Four Streets Community Land Trust (CLT) to refurbish 10 derelict terraced houses on Cairns St in Toxteth. The project is the result of a hard-won, 20-year battle by local residents to save the houses from demolition. Assemble have worked with them to translate their resourceful and DIY attitude into the refurbishment of housing, helping the CLT provide affordable housing for local residents that remains in community ownership. The houses use simple and low cost materials and include a number of playful, handmade architectural elements that help re-establish the character of the homes following their long neglect.
Of the project, Mathew Leung from Assemble said: “The commission for exit B at Seven Sisters Tube station should be great fun. We’re excited by the opportunity it presents to experiment with material processes, play with the classic form of the Tube tile and adopt an incremental approach that builds on the existing character of the site.”
Eleanor Pinfield, Head of Art on the Underground, said: “Assemble have a lively and unique approach. This social art project on the Victoria line will combine elements of architecture, function and green design, resulting in work that is useful but also joyful. We are delighted to be working with them at Seven Sisters.”
Photo: Paul Carter Robinson © artlyst 2015