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Barking and Dagenham’s A House for Artists scoops esteemed RIBA London Awards

Barking and Dagenham Council has won the prestigious RIBA London Client of the Year Award for the ground-breaking A House for Artists social housing scheme, designed by Apparata Architects.

A House for Artists is an ambitious model funded by the Council. Commissioned in partnership with Create London, with additional support from the GLA, it was established to bring affordable and sustainable housing to the borough for creative people. The house, delivered by the Council's regeneration arm Be First and designed by Apparata Architects, is located in the heart of Barking and home to 12 artists and their families. In addition to the Client of the Year Award, Apparata also received a RIBA East London Regional Award for their design.

In exchange for reduced rent, the artists deliver free creative programmes for the local community, including schools, through a street-facing, glass-walled community hall and outdoor working yard on the ground floor. Artists were selected by a panel including Grayson Perry, who recently unveiled a site-specific lamp sculpture ‘Inspiration Lives Here’ at the development, commissioned by Create London and funded by the Art Fund. Following a series of creative workshops, open days and community consultations over the last year, more information about the future public programmes will be announced by Create London, with full details of how local residents can take part in activities.

Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement, said: “This prestigious award is a fantastic achievement for a creative space we are so proud to have in our borough.

“Barking and Dagenham is the centre of a vibrant and growing community of brilliant artists who are giving back to our community in many ways, and we’re so pleased A House for Artists has been recognised for this award.”

All RIBA London Award winners will be considered for a highly coveted RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, scheduled to be announced on Thursday June 22.

A House for Artists’ public programme is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Rayne Foundation.