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A New Space Unveiled at the Institute of Contemporary Arts
The ICA Studio by 6a Architects. Photo: David Grandorge.

LONDON.- The ICA’s workshop has seen the work of artists from Pablo Picasso to Damien Hirst and Billy Childish to Pablo Bronstein pass through its doors and is now appropriated by 6a Architects to create the ICA Studio, a new public space opened this month.

The Studio is a place to access the ICA’s archive; host artist residencies; present the ICA’s new Live Edition events, for which Bob & Roberta Smith and Billy Childish have already made works in the space during its transformation; sell limited edition prints and books; and display individual works, beginning with a painting by Jakub Julian Ziolkowski.

Previously inaccessible to the public, the ICA Studio is located above one of the ICA Cinemas and it retains its original character and some of its function as a workshop. This is evident in the opportunistic adjustments made to the room by 6a Architects.

The ICA Studio is available to ICA Members to use and to access some of the ICA Archive. Furniture by Simon Jones allows the room to be transformed for talks, meetings, events. New clear glass skylights allow the Duke of York statue and Regency colonnades to be seen from the room for the first time, enabling visitors to identify their location on The Mall and within the ICA.

The ICA Studio continues the ideas that 6a Architects explored throughout their six-month residency at the ICA, seen first in the opening up of the Entrance Hall in December 2010. Both the ICA Studio and Entrance Hall retain elements of their previous configurations or evidence of their original use.

Stephanie Macdonald, 6a Architects Director, said: “Rather than designing the ICA Studio, we have found and re-presented a wonderful original space. Using the natural light that floods the room, we have made subtle changes, often leaving original features, as well as giving a lot of attention to the many ways in which people from across the organisation hope to use the space.”

The opening of the ICA Studio signals a point of change for the ICA and coincides with Pablo Bronstein’s Sketches for Regency Living, a groundbreaking exhibition in which Bronstein works across the entire ICA building introducing major architectural interventions.

One of the first events to take place in the ICA Studio is the first in a new series of informal talks, ArtReview’s DrinkTank ThinkTank, which begins with 6a Architects’ Tom Emerson and Stephanie Macdonald in conversation with Pablo Bronstein on 26 June.

RIBA award-winning 6a Architects have gained a reputation for their work with contemporary art galleries, most recently completing buildings for the South London Gallery and Raven Row.

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