Room 13 is a very direct response to the very gritty urban context in which it sat, and the social program that gave rise to it – which is ‘Room 13’ – a charity where resident artists work alongside excluded children in the sanctuary of a purpose built art studio. Nicholas Serota called this ‘the most important model for art education we have today’.
It shows that low grade, everyday materials can be beautiful. The building uses raw concrete block externally, and internally is finished with bare plywood, OSB and a varnished concrete screed. The finishes ultimately are the life that is played out in the building, and the ensuing patina. The studio is heated and cooled by a ground source heat pump, and the ‘snouts’ act as ventilation and light shafts. It won a RIBA Award in 2007, and a regional sustainability award. The head of the RIBA Jury Panel remarked ‘It shows me that more than anything, architecture is about people’.
A couple of articles below:
Architect’s Journal: 2007 11 22 AJ