Central House, London Metropolitan University

Florian Beigel, Philip Christou and ARU's Conversion of Central House (2012)
Contributed by Sarah Milne, Survey of London on June 13, 2017

Robert Harbison, former professor of architecture at London Metropolitan University, in conversation with Sarah Milne, Survey of London (31 May 2017):

"The architecture department only moved to this location in 2012. It was on Holloway Road as long as I was teaching at the Cass. I haven't had any experience of reporting to work in Whitechapel but I have been to Central House a fair number of times. I think it worked well and it certainly was pleasant to experience as an outsider. It was converted by Florian Beigel, Philip Christou and ARU in an interesting way, but now it has been sold and is not going to function as a school anymore. So it turns out to have been an extremely short-lived but very inventive use of a sixties office building. It was a relatively cheap conversion that flaunted its ad hoc qualities, bold in the way that it thought of the spaces and used them. Spaces were often indeterminate, and flexible in their function. ARU has been an imaginative architectural practice and this example of their work deserves to be recorded as fully as possible before it disappears sometime in the summer. They made fresh and lively spaces out of unpromising material.”

Sold to property developers
Contributed by _crp_ on May 1, 2017

The building was sold to the property development company Frasers Property (UK) Ltd for £50 million in 2016. London Metropolitan University is reported to have leased building back until August 2017, but will then relocate the faculty to Holloway.

The building was originally built as a textiles warehouse in the 1960s.

The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, formed in 1965 from the Sir John Cass College’s Department of Fine and Applied Art, merged with the Department of Silversmithing and Allied Crafts from the Central School of Art, and moved into Central House.

Sources:

https//www.a-n.co.uk/news/cass-faculty-building-sold-to-property-developer- for-50m

http://www.savethecass.org/sir-john-cass-college-becomes-school-of-art/

Looking north east from Central House
Contributed by Derek Kendall

Central House
Contributed by Derek Kendall

North side of Whitechapel iIgh Street looking south towards Central House and Goodman's Fields, August 2017
Contributed by Derek Kendall

Commercial Road entrance canopy, August 2017
Contributed by Derek Kendall

Interior looking south east, August 2017
Contributed by Derek Kendall

Interior, looking south west, August 2017
Contributed by Derek Kendall

Remnants of the degree show, August 2017
Contributed by Derek Kendall

Central House
Contributed by Derek Kendall

Final Words (June 2017)
Contributed by Sarah Ann Milne