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Somers Town Stories

Type: Public realm

Year: WIP

Client: People’s Museum Somers Town


Inspired by Somers Town’s social housing and its one of a kind drying yards for laundry, this project proposes a heritage trail that celebrates this working class history in the public realm. Commissioned by People’s Museum Somers Town and funded by the GLA ‘Untold Stories’ grant, with additional funding from Camden Council, the heritage trail centres around three proposed posts with newly commissioned artworks located in Phoenix Street, the main pedestrian thoroughfare between Euston and St Pancras stations.


The original drying yards were built during the slum clearance and redevelopment of the area undertaken by the St Pancras Housing Improvement Society in early 1930s. Devised to combat cramped conditions and tight backyards of slum housing, the courtyards of the new housing blocks were built to be spactious, well lit and airy. The fluted concrete posts topped with ceramic sculptures by artist Gilbert Bayes take centre stage of the yards, speaking to the commissioners’ ambitions of providing art for the working classes. Most of the posts are still standing but the vast majority of the ceramic finials have been lost or stolen. The People’s Museum Somers Town has been campaigning and fundraising to restore them.


Our project directly references this heritage while proposing a contemporary form. The new posts are made of turned timber and the new commissioned artworks were developed by artist Camilla Bliss in collaboration with the client, based on a set of workshops and consultations with local community groups.

STS_Chalton Street post.jpg
STS_workshop 2.jpg
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