An alley in the Eastend area of northeastern London where, occasionally, young artists dressed in unusual costumes come and go in an old factory built of red bricks. Here, a toy block artist Nathan Sawaya’s ‘Lego Art’ exhibition was being held. Curator Derrick Moore, 52, explained, “This is a space that has been used as a beer warehouse in the past and has been converted into an art museum much like how other container storage in U.K. had been converted into an artwork.” Freight elevators and various mechanical facilities remained throughout the exhibition hall.
The Truman Brewery, built in the year 1666, was the second-largest brewery in England. Although famous for appearing in the novels of Charles Dickens, he began to lose competitiveness after World War II. Eventually, the factory door was closed in 1988.
Wreck-It Ralph 8 BIT LANE – Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London
It was with the pop artists in London, including Damien Hearst, that began to thrive in the gloomy back alley. Creative murals and impromptu performances filled the streets, bringing the town to life. The city of London has remodeled the interior of the factory into a workshop and exhibition space for poor artists.
London, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, is the most advanced city in recycling abandoned infrastructure such as factories and power plants. British architects paid attention to the structure of the industrial building, which was designed with high ceilings and well-lit to bring in huge machines. It was a great place to open performance or to display installation art. ‘Tate Modern’, which transformed the bankside thermal power plant along the River Thames into a modern art museum, has already become a world-class tourist attraction. It is said that 20% of the 5 million visitors a year visit here to see the building itself, regardless of art exhibitions.
London’s experimental spirit spread throughout Europe. The ‘Caisha Forum’ in Madrid, Spain, was converted into a culture and art space by a thermal power plant left in the old town by architects of Tate Modern in 2007. Vienna, Austria, has built four buildings that have been used as gas storage for 85 years as a residential complex ‘Gasometer City’.