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892_Willesden_Art_Academy
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CLIENT: Willesden Academy

LOCATION: London, UK

CRAB was commissioned to design a new arts facility to complement the main building at an academy school in Willesden, London. The Art Academy locks on to the northern end of the main building, offering comprehensive studio and workshop facilities. In addition to accommodating working artists, the structure includes housing for six families, fostering the establishment of a small creative community.

The building’s layout is purposefully designed to facilitate gatherings for performances and installation displays. It takes the form of a rectilinear ‘U’ shape, with a central courtyard. This courtyard features a translucent glazed floor, providing natural light to the workshops situated underneath.

The western wing houses studios, while the thin eastern wing comprises apartments with independent access and circulation. The courtyard, equipped with all-weather protection, is strategically screened from the street.

The outer walls of the ‘U’ are faced in large-format coloured glazed tiles, peeled back to allow light into the building. On the courtyard-facing walls, light-coloured concrete reflects sunlight from the south, creating a warm and welcoming area for staff and students to enjoy.

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