During the 1990s the number of UK residents working from home doubled, and now over 40% of all UK businesses are run from home. Challenging the traditional distinction between work and home, this major lifestyle shift, together with a growing desire for more sustainable living solutions has created the demand for developments in which residents can live, work, dine out, socialise and exercise – all under one roof. These mixed-use communities are becoming increasingly popular, both reflecting, and offering solutions to, contemporary issues.
This documentary project was commissioned by the architectural practice Lynas Smith and focuses on the Arthaus building in East London, transformed five years ago by them into a mixed-use development. Originally a 1930s theatre house, dance hall, artists’ studio and gallery, the Arthaus has a rich heritage as a space filled with people and their creations. Now home to restaurants, a yoga studio and commercial office space, as well as private apartments and gardens, the building is once again a hub for creativity and enterprise at the heart of the Hackney community. Here, home and work are housed side-by-side – the perfect example of the way in which this shift in lifestyle is being reflected in contemporary architecture and urban (re)development. The Life in the Arthaus project involves documenting the day to day lives of the residents and businesses which form part of the Arthaus community, including pizzeria and charcuterie bar Lardo, designer Rachel Chudley, and the London Fields Yoga Studio, capturing on black & white film the way in which people live and work in mixed-use developments of this kind.
The work was showcased for the first time as part of the London Festival of Architecture 2016.