THE BAG FACTORY ARTISTS' STUDIOS
A proposed series of additions are to be grafted onto an existing building over a protracted period, allowing the institution to grow with the building and remain in use throughout this time.
The project started as a collaboration with publicworks (London) in 2005. A series of workshops and events were held in order to understand the informal and dynamic organisational structure of the Bag Factory Artist Studios. Each idea expressed by the artists and staff was recorded as a drawing and presented back to the clients in the form of an exhibition.
In 2009, we were asked to conceptualise how the existing Bag Factory building could evolve to facilitate its organisational growth as a public institution in the global as well as vibrant, mutating context of downtown Johannesburg.
The first phase envisages urgent repairs of the gallery roof and the upgrading of all public areas. This buys time to implement phases 2 and 3 which foresee a new set of studios, galleries, social and administration spaces and programmes. Phase 4 replaces the existing gallery roof and phase 5 comprises a set of offices and studios for rent.
The folded roof over the gallery and public walkways is envisaged as a public attic connecting specific programmes housed in independent structural boxes. The boxed additions allow for the original building’s walls to remain un-touched, paying homage to the beginnings of the studio which has, for close to two decades, offered emerging, visiting and established artists an affordable space for work, interaction and exposure.
Project team: Thorsten Deckler, Anne Graupner, Guy Trangos, Stephen Reid, Kiran Paras, Rogan Rich
Winner of a South African Institute for Architecture Project Award