The Architectural Heritage Fund has awarded Assemble Studio CIC a grant of £15,000 towards their plans to turn a vacant 18th century townhouse in Spitalfields into a shared community space.
The four storey mid-terrace townhouse on Princelet Street, near Brick Lane in East London, was built in 1705 by Joseph Truman (of Truman’s Brewery), and was home to master weavers and merchants in an area that became the centre of the silk weaving industry. For the past forty years it was the home of Annetta Pedretti, a community activist, architect and polymath. After she died in 2018 it was left to a foundation, the Edith Maryon Foundation, to enable it be used for social purposes.
Assemble Studio is an award winning multi-disciplinary collective working across architecture, design and art. Their vision is to turn the Grade II listed house into a new centre for land and housing justice, providing meeting rooms, shared workspace and a community café, and hosting public events, talks and exhibitions.
Their £15,000 Project Viability Grant will support development of design proposals, fundraising and work to set up a new charity to run the centre. Matthew Mckeague, CEO of AHF comments:
‘This is a fascinating house, rich in history in itself but also a building that holds many stories about the Spitalfields area. Spitalfields has undergone huge change in recent decades and the ballooning cost of land and property has made it increasingly difficult to find affordable community space. Assemble’s ideas for its future will help address this need, ideas that I am sure would have been supported by Annetta Pedretti, the house’s last owner.’
Follow Asemble Studios on Instagram: @houseofannetta