Assemble_Design & Architecture Collective

I recently came across the work of Assemble, whose core practice ethos has a highly inspiring and commendable belief in “the importance of addressing the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which spaces are made”.

Assemble are a design and architecture collective based in London who actively involve the public in their projects “as both participant and accomplice”.

Lets explore a few of their projects that I particularly connected with:

Sugarhouse Studios


This is a great example where architects and designers conceive a potential project from a set of unmet demands. An opportunity for architectural intervention. It seems Assemble had a vision for a methodology of work:  “The project seeks to find a way for private practice (space for research, design and construction) to be opened up to form the backdrop for a public building.”


– Rather than a typical client-architect brief, Assemble have seen an opportunity to build local community through architecture.


The building has played host to a variety of uses including a cafe, cinema, construction workshops, exhibitions and late night events. It continues to be the workshop and workspace of Assemble and their collaborators.



The Cineroleum 

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Here, Assemble self-initiated a project, transforming a derelict petrol station into a hand-built cinema.

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They saw potential in what could otherwise have remained an abandoned structure, ready for demolition. – The potential for adaptive reuse, to build a community through its realisation, and to continue to support and nurture that community through its continued use.



Assemble’s other projects include:

Folly for a Flyover – the transformation of a disused motorway undercroft “non-place” into a new public place.


Blackhorse Workshop – a public workshop that provides access to tools and affordable workspace


“The Playing Field” – a new typology theatre space


Assemble have demonstrated the potential for adaptive reuse – key to sustainable architecture.

How can architects encourage design for future adaptation, flexibility and change of use? How can they incorporate this ethos into their design process? And how can local community involvement benefit public architecture? -Assemble have certainly shown an admirable approach to these challenges.

All photos and information come from their informative website. – I highly recommend a visit: