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Revealed: Assemble shortlisted for Turner Prize


East London architecture collective Assemble has been named on the 2015 Turner Prize shortlist

The 18-strong practice of emerging designers and artists (pictured below) has been nominated for its work with local residents in regenerating the rundown Granby Four Streets estate in Liverpool.

It is the first time an architecture practice has been nominated for the prestigious arts award, which comes with a £25,000 top prize.

‘In an age when anything can be art, why not have a housing estate?’ judge Alistair Hudson told The Guardian.

After fighting demolition plans, locals formed a community land trust and brought in Assemble to help improve the houses and neighbourhood.

According to the practice, ‘the approach is characterised by celebrating the value of the area’s architectural and cultural heritage, supporting public involvement and partnership working, offering local training and employment opportunities and nurturing the resourcefulness and DIY spirit that defines the four streets.’

The emerging firm is up against three London-based female artists: Bonnie Camplin, Janice Kerbel, and Nicole Wermers.

The Turner Prize, which was established in 1984, is awarded to a British artist under 50 years of age for an outstanding recent exhibition or other presentation of work.

Last year’s accolade was picked up by the relatively unknown Glasgow-based film-maker Duncan Campbell.

The winner of the prize will be announced at an award ceremony on 7 December 2015.

This year the Turner Prize exhibition will be held at Tramway, Glasgow. It is the first time the Turner Prize has been held in Scotland.

The free exhibition will run from 1 October to 17 January 2016.





Readers' comments (2)

  • The Turner's recognition that Toxteth's terraced streets are works of art represents a degree of deliverance for a housing form that, in the North at least, has been tainted by demolition's baleful shadow.

    Assemble's genius has been to tell the story of this contested place in a way which heals wounds, but doesn't hide scars.

    It's also a subtle reminder that officials at Liverpool's recent Welsh Streets Public Inquiry still describe over 400 homes by the same architect, in the same location, and in the same council ownership, as 'commonplace and obsolete', and have launched an expensive high court challenge to overturn SAVE's famous victory over the bulldozers - a fight described by the Times as 'the planning battle of the century'.

    Those residents and charities who have protested for many years against the division of communities by demolition can take great satisfaction from this prestigious nomination.

    Alongside the resilience of residents, SAVE Britain's Heritage, Merseyside Civic Society and the Empty Homes charity deserve particular credit, as they really opened up the local campaigns to national media and political attention, and in fact introduced the investor who brought in Assemble.

    The AJ has followed the Pathfinder story diligently for many years, so your readers will well understand that this is an epic triumph of good design over designer dereliction.

    Jonathan Brown of SAVE Britain’s Heritage

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  • I note that Assemble have chosen to communicate as a group. Individuals are not named or celebrated in any of the press releases. Even on their website, I could not find a list of collaborators, members or any information about their backgrounds. In an age of social media, lack of privacy, and availability of personal information, this is highly unusual. A far cry from Heatherwick for example.

    I respect and admire Assemble for promoting the collaborative nature of their work and not succumbing to the celebration of the individual genius. It is unique position in today's world.

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