A House for Artists wins the 2023 London RIBA Award and Client of the Year

Friday, 12 May 2023

Image credit: Gili Merin

A House for Artists has won the 2023 London RIBA Award. Competing in a strong field of ninety-two shortlisted projects, Create London, alongside London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, were also recognised by receiving the Client of the Year Award, a special award that acknowledges the key role a good client plays in the commissioning and championing of outstanding architecture.

Designed by architectural studio APPARATA, A House for Artists is an ambitious model for affordable and sustainable housing tied to long-term public engagement in Barking Town Centre. The first of its kind in the UK, it provides flexible living and work space for fourteen artists and their families. In return for reduced rent, the artists have been delivering free creative programmes for the neighbourhood in the ground floor community hall, shaped in dialogue with the community.

Co-commissioned by Create London, A House for Artists was funded by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the Mayor of London, and delivered by BeFirst (working on behalf of LBBD). The public programme is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Rayne Foundation.

We are honoured that APPARATA, Create London and Barking & Dagenham Council were awarded such prestigious awards, highlighting how important it is – now more than ever – to provide affordable housing to artists while ensuring that local communities feel connected and inspired through arts participation. We hope that this project will be a replicable model for many other artists’ housing initiatives in the UK and beyond.

We are grateful to the 14 resident artists for their contribution and enthusiasm over the last year and to our funders and collaborators for making this ambitious project happen.