Acme, supporting artists since 1972

Sugar House Work/Live

Next programme: The programme is currently closed.


The work/live residency programme, based at the Sugar House, complements and builds on the work/live scheme established at Acme's nearby Fire Station building in Gillender Street.

Like the Fire Station, the Sugar House work/live residency project was designed in response to the lack of affordable space in London for artists to work and live in. The project alleviates pressures on artists - both financial and practical. Low rent reduces the amount of time artists have to spend earning to pay for somewhere to live and work, while increasing the time spent developing their professional careers.

The units are situated on the first and second floors of the building. Those on the second floor are double height, with mezzanine sleeping areas extending into the open roof spaces. The units have separate kitchens, bathrooms and stores, with open plan working and living/sleeping areas. Designed to maximise working space, most units are open-plan.

Acme worked closely with architects Survey & Design Partnership to achieve units which are flexible and maximise the working area and the sense of space and light. The units vary between 500 and 900 sq ft / 46.4 and 83.6 sq m and are suitable for occupation by two people.

The Sugar House Programmes (2002 - 2011)

In April 2002, eight artists were selected from a national submission to take up the first work/live residencies, ending in February 2007: Neil Exeter, Louisa Fairclough, James Fisher, James Grant, Al Holmes, Brigid McCleer, Gail Pickering and Akiko Usami.

Other artists have subsequently joined the programme as the original artists have been able to take up opportunities elsewhere. The current artists on work/live residencies are: Ruth Caig, Ignaz Cassar, Max Goodchild, Jenny Hamblett, Harold Offeh, Jochen Holz, Tania Rowlings  and David Smith.

The Sugar House Project: History

The old Sugar House is a Victorian warehouse originally used for the storing and packaging of sugar brought up river and unloaded on the adjacent wharf at Three Mills Wall River. It now forms part of a business village situated in Sugar House Lane (which took its name from the building), to the south of Stratford High Street. The building is close to the Three Mills Island film production unit and is in an area which is becoming increasingly developed as a centre for the creative industries.

The Sugar House project has been developed in partnership with Solon Co-operative Housing Services and the Boss Group and received funding from the Housing Corporation and Stratford Development Partnership.

The Sugar House, Sugar House Lane, London E15. Photo: Hugo Glendinning (2002)

The Sugar House, Sugar House Lane, London E15. Photo: Hugo Glendinning (2002)

The Sugar House - interior of a second floor work/live unit. Photo: Hugo Glendinning (2002)

The Sugar House - interior of a second floor work/live unit. Photo: Hugo Glendinning (2002)

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