Assemble’s Liverpool housing project wins Turner Prize

A Toxteth regeneration scheme by Assemble has won the Turner Prize, the leading award in British contemporary art.

The London-based architecture and design collective, made up of 14 staff, claimed the £25,000 prize for overhauling 10 houses in Granby Four Streets, beating other nominees Bonnie Camplin, Janice Kerbel and Nicole Wermers, with the ceremony taking place in Glasgow.

Previous winners include Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry and Steve McQueen, with Assemble joining the esteemed list of best British contemporary artists as artist, musician and songwriter, Kim Gordon presented the award.

Upon accepting the prize during a televised presentation, Assemble member Joseph Halligan said: “I think it’s safe to say this nomination was a surprise to all of us. The last six months have been a kind of super surreal experience.

“But it’s allowed us this amazing opportunity to start something – Granby Workshop – which we hope will live on for a very, very long time. We’re really, really grateful.”

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The judging jury awarded Assemble the prize for bringing art and communities together, while drawing upon artistic traditions to create a new regeneration model for derelict areas of towns and cities.

Discussing the winning entry, the panel says: “The jury awarded the prize to Assemble who work in tandem with communities, such as those in Granby Street, to realise a ground up approach to regeneration, city planning and development in opposition to corporate gentrification.

“They draw on long traditions of artistic and collective initiatives that experiment in art, design and architecture.

“In doing so they offer alternative models to how societies can work. The long term collaboration between Granby Four Streets and assemble shows the importance of artistic practice being able to drive and shape urgent issues in the post-industrial era.”

Following the announcement Steve Coffey, chief executive officer Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH), which has also invested £7 million in transforming homes as part of the wider Granby Four Streets regeneration, adds: “LMH is delighted that Assemble’s contribution has been recognised by the Turner Prize. Their role has been pivotal in stimulating community involvement in the project and their artwork within properties will be a lasting feature of the area.”

This year’s exhibition is being held at Tramway, Glasgow until 17 January 2016 and is the first time the Turner Prize has been held in Scotland.

About Author: Nick Hughes