Office Block Awaiting Demolition Transformed Into Psychedelic Arts Hub!

Shirethorn House, an empty office block in Hull, has been empty awaiting possible demolition since 2019. Luckily for the place, organiser Michael Barnes-Wynters had others ideas for the space while its fate hung in the balance…

We at H&A worked to acquire the space while the owners planned its redevelopment so that some of the city’s best artists could take part in the revamp project, each with their own uniquely creative input, transforming rooms into the colourful, the weird and wonderful, the magical, the thought-provoking, and the downright psychedelic!

Artists there have also taken the opportunity to make new friends. “There’s a spark, which I have not witnessed yet in this city, which is happening here at the Shirethorn. Everyone’s connecting with everyone, and they did not do that before,” said Mr Barnes-Wynters.

At a whopping 4,366 m2 (47,000 sq ft), our friends at East Street Arts said Shirethorn House was in the “top 5% of the biggest” spaces they had used.

Henry Sanderson of East Street Arts said these projects “can really change the energy in an area when you’ve got that many creatives working in the building” and that they could also help to turn around “declining High Streets”.

With positive vibes all round, the space is the perfect hub for creatives. One artist added “I like the idea of learning new skills and new ideas from people. For instance on my floor we’ve got circus entertainers and actresses – two things that wouldn’t normally come into my sphere of contacts.” Lets hope this transformed office gets to stay!

Photos courtesy of Michael Barnes-Wynters

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