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Architectural collective wins Turner art prize

December 7, 2015

An architectural and design collective called Assemble has won Britain's Turner Prize for contemporary visual art. The group has been recognized for helping redevelop a run-down area of Liverpool.

The Architecture collective 'Assemble' celebrate after being announced as the 2015 Turner Prize winners
Image: Getty Images/M. Runnacles

British Design Group Assemble

Assemble, a collective of artists, designers and architects, received the UK's most prestigious visual art prize on Monday. With 18 founding members, it is the first time such a large group has been nominated for the award.

"The jury has awarded the prize to Assemble who work in tandem with communities to realize a ground-up approach to regeneration, city planning and development in opposition to corporate gentrification," said the Turner Prize jury in Glasgow. This year also marks the first time the art event has taken place in Scotland.

Assemble was nominated for several projects, including the collective's collaboration with local residents in the Granby Four Streets project. Residents invited the collective to help redevelop an area of houses in the run-down district of Toxteth in Liverpool.

"I think it's safe to say this nomination was a surprise to all of us, and the last six months has been a kind of super surreal experience," said a male member of Assemble at the awards ceremony. "It's allowed us this amazing opportunity to start something, Granby Workshop, which we really hope will live on for a very, very, very long time. We're really really grateful. Thank you."

The collective also created a means to sustain redevelopment by setting up a workshop for young people to learn how to make fittings and fixtures, including chimneys and ceramic door handles. They then sell the products online.

A visitor views an exhibit titled Infrastruktur by 2015 Turner Prize nominee, German Nicole Wermers
London-based German artist Nicole Wermers was also nominated for her exhibit "Infastruktur"Image: picture alliance/empics/A. Milligan

Their holistic approach to neighborhood renewal aims "to address the disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made."

The Turner prize comes with a cash prize of 25,000 pounds (34,735 euro, $37,640) and is closely followed for trends in the art world. The award is named after the painter William Turner and has been awarded annually since 1984 to artists under 50 who live in, or were born in Britain.

Other finalists for the prize included the London-based German artist Nicole Wermers, whose exhibit featured a room of modern chairs with fur coats sewn onto them.

rs/jr (AFP, dpa, Reuters)