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Visit to The Leicester Print Workshop

RIBA East Midlands Small Project of the Year.
After refreshments the event began with a presentation by architects Takero Shimazaki and Jennifer Frewen - RIBA East Midlands Project Architect of the Year.
Takero started by explaining their highly visual approach to design and showing examples of drawings for other projects which clearly demonstrated the practice’s own affinity to printmaking.
He went on to describe their approach to the existing building and their determination to reuse as much of the existing shell as possible and retain evidence of its previous use. An example of this can be seen on the exterior where windows have been bricked up in a manner that leaves a subtle trace of the original openings. This approach can also be seen in the interior where the crane and the metal beams supporting it from the original metal factors has been de-commissioned, but retained. These large metal beams run for the length of the building becoming a striking visual feature within several spaces, seen from the outside crossing the large windows.
A raw concrete floor and external brick piers and walls have also been retained.
The 4,800sqft warehouse was completely gutted to allow for the insertion of new windows, floor and roof to form 8,500sqft of new spaces. Much of the internal finishing was done by groups of volunteers. Exposed concrete lintels have been appropriately chalked with names of rooms. The very limited budget is evident in a palette of low-cost materials and white walls with elegant detailing and careful consideration of spaces. Central to giving this neglected site a new lease of life and engaging passers-by is the ability to see the artists and their activity. Internally the spaces are all inter-connected in order to foster an awareness of community working. For this reason the the rooms upstairs do not have ceilings.

An excellent record of the project from start to finish can be seen on the architect’s website:

click the link

Where you will also see many of the beautiful photographs shown during the presentation.

More than one in our group intend to return on the next open day.

“We had no idea what lay behind the facade. The building and the quality of the presentation were a revelation”.
Ruth and Keith


Another View The Leicester Print Workshop

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