Stratford Warehouse Becomes Cultural Center for Sugar House Island
A former Victorian warehouse in Stratford has been given new life as two creative organizations prepare to move in.
The Talent House, located in the renovated historic building with a modern extension, will host the East London Dance (ELD) and urban music organization UD in the fall.
It is part of the creative district of Dane’s Yard in the development of Sugar House Island by Vastint UK.
The former print warehouse turned design hub on Sugar House Lane was designed by Waugh Thistleton, with internal plans developed by award-winning architect Katy Marks of the Citizens Design Bureau.
Spanning three floors, The Talent House will offer professional facilities including two dance studios, five music production and recording studios, a concert hall and two vocal booths.
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It will also host a large rehearsal and event space and a technology lab for education and training.
A central atrium will serve as the main reception and there is also space for dance jams and informal concerts.
ELD and UD say they are championing the next generation of artists, entrepreneurs and creative leaders, and the new permanent home will allow organizations to support more under-represented talent – by developing skills, nurturing confidence and helping to build careers.
ELD Chief Executive Officer Polly Risbridger said: âWe see a world where creative talent always has opportunities no matter where you come from, and after the pandemic this space will be essential in helping the creative community to reconnect, recover and renew their creative endeavors.
“The Talent House is a building for young people and artists in East London and their voices will be at the heart of all our decision-making.”
Over 2,100 hours of free access to the building and its facilities will be made available to independent artists in the neighborhood each year.
It will be open to all those who wish to express themselves through dance and music, from the first steps to professional peaks.
The Talent House aims to welcome over 12,000 people each year with âan inspiring public programâ, co-organized with young people, artists and the community.
UD Director Pamela McCormick said: âWe understand that young people need resources and space to create and explore their potential.
âThe Talent House delivers exactly that, while UD continues to empower those trying to succeed in the music industry to realize that they already belong, while equipping those breaking through in notoriously competitive creative environments with the tools they need: excellence, structure, trust, opportunity and networks. “
The project received funding from the Newham Council as well as the Arts Council England, the Foundation for Future London and others, with ELD and UD continuing to raise the final Â£ 350,000 needed to reach a goal of 4.1million. Â£.
Newham Council Executive Director Althea Loderick said: âBy providing educational and professional opportunities to the youth of our borough, this exciting and ambitious new venture will inspire new generations of newcomers to the creative industries.
“It has been an extremely difficult year for the arts, of course, so The Talent House represents bright new hope for the future.”
The original warehouse was used by a printing ink manufacturer for over 150 years until 2005.
This is one of three original historic buildings preserved and restored in Dane’s Yard, which consists of eight buildings providing creative workspace.
Andrew Cobden, Managing Director of Vastint UK, said: âOne of Sugar House Island’s many aspirations is to express its industrial heritage in the architecture of the buildings and spaces we create.
“The redevelopment of the old warehouse, merged with a new extension, has succeeded in creating a place of learning to inspire young creative minds.”
When complete, the mixed-use development of Sugar House Island will include office space to accommodate over 3,000 visitors and 1,200 riverside homes for another 3,000 residents.
It will include a mix of bars, restaurants, shops and amenities, as well as a new elementary school called School360 which will open in September.
Vastint UK says the first two phases of the development have been completed, with 211 homes slated to start and construction of almost 24,000m2 of workspace underway.