Watch this (creative) space
March 26th 2012
Nick La Rosa
Who’s next? Creative curatorial collective Sydney Guild recieved a subsidised studio and office through the Oxford St Creative Spaces initiative
Two huge council owned buildings on William St, will be turned into hubs for Sydney creatives, as part of the City of Sydney Council’s initiative to support artists and their work, as announced by the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore.cThe City of Sydney’s Sustainable 2030 strategic plan indentifies the value of culture and the arts to the social and economic wellbeing of the community, and action to support it is now being taken.
“Sydney’s creative culture attracts people to live, visit, work and invest here – but there’s no creative culture if artists can’t afford to live and work,” said Ms Moore.
Charles Landry, a featured speaker in the City of Sydney’s ‘City Talk‘ series, has said that cities revolve around creative people and the community’ s ability to adopt their mode of thinking. Key to city-making, Mr Landry states, is “a culture of creativity, a creative ecology where the conditions to think and act with imagination exist quite easily and are embedded into the organisation of all the places in your city.” One of the main hurdles to developing the “culture of creativity” is the cost and availability of space for creative activities.
Recognising the prominent challenge facing creative individuals and enterprises in major cities to find affordable living and working spaces, the City Council will transform the two William St properties, numbered 101-115, into artists’ studios and live-in spaces, come May. At the moment 101-111 William St is partially tenanted however 113-115 William St is vacant. In May, the two buildings will see a mix of both commercial and creative use, offering a range of rents to a variety of tenants, depending on their purpose of accommodation and utilisation of the space. This incentive follows an overwhelming response to the City’s recent request for Expressions of Interest from artists and creative enterprises to occupy currently vacant City-owned retail and office spaces on Oxford Street.
There are different proposed uses, which will depend on the level of demand. The ground floor of 101-111 William St has two vacant showrooms that could accommodate a gym, showroom/retail space, restaurant, or a gallery. Level 1 and 3 are proposed office areas while Level 2 is the artist’s studio and creative enterprise work space. 113-115 William St has a similar ground floor, with a shopfront and basement cafe which could be useful for commercial use or similar functions as 101-111’s Ground Floor.
The announcement seeking expressions of interest in the properties will appear in the press in late April or May so keep your eyes peeled ye creative types.