A disused portakabin on the South Kilburn Estate has been transformed into a space for creative professionals to work from in return for training up some of Brent’s young people.
Industry professionals such as Victoria Grant; whose couture hats have graced the pages of Vogue and Benjamin Stefanski, a music producer who has just signed a record deal, film maker Jonathan Nyati, and Tatiana von Preussen, Catherine Pease and Jessica Reynolds of vPPR Architects, are just some of the creative people involved. In all, 13 professionals – lively and mixed crowd of industry professionals, made up of filmmakers, architects, sportswear designers and more – have joined in, bringing with them bags of talent to share with the young people of South Kilburn.
The new tenants have each pledged to train a local young person in their trade in return for five months free rent in the studios which are just a stones throw from popular Queens Park, a trendy part of Brent known for attracting creative independent retailers.
Alex Hearn, Regeneration Officer, Major Projects, Brent Council said: “We are pleased that such an exciting project is taking place in Brent. We believe that South Kilburn Studios will ignite interest in South Kilburn and deliver new types of services to the local community. We see creative “meanwhile” projects such as South Kilburn Studios as a fundamental part of our regeneration strategy for the borough.”
Patrizia Victor a ladies sportswear designer and South Kilburn resident said: “I’m looking forward to working with my new trainee; they will help with the entire development of our next spring/summer 2012 collection from fabric selection to prototype making and fitting sessions.”
The rework of the dilapidated portakabin was designed by Practice Architects, and backed by the Architecture Foundation, Brent Council and South Kilburn Neighbourhood Trust.
A 24 metre long light-box extension has been added to ‘signpost’ the centre while the building’s internal layout has been reconfigured, and carpets replaced with ply floors. As many as 70 volunteers helped to deliver the scheme over the course of six weeks.
See more about the project at www.southkilburnstudios.org.