Renting a space to focus solely on your creative side is the icing on the cake for any artist. But the line between the office and home has been blurred since the onset of the lockdown. Sabi Phagura went along to Sugar Studios to see what’s on offer for artists looking for a dedicated space and how they can claw their creativity back.
Sugar Studios is situated on the Greenwich Peninsula in a building that used to house a sugar refinery, hence the name. But today, the massive space has become an exciting social space for events and a creative hub for workshops, talks and classes. Just a 10-minute walk from North Greenwich tube station, there are four studios, including a large Infinity Cove, Greenscreen, White/Blackbox and The Big Space.
I took a peek around all four studios, which offer a completely different look from one another except for a dedicated mezzanine, production space and hair and make-up area. The Infinity Cover Studio, my favourite, is a bespoke u-shaped coved studio – one of the biggest in London with a drive-in capacity.
The White/Blackbox Studio is smaller in comparison, while the Green Studio is maintained in the perfect shade to enable good quality marketing videos, content creation, photography and game streaming.
The largest of the quartet is the Big Space Studio. This giant space with a sprung wooden floor is ideal for anything from rehearsals to motion capture. It also has private offices, a green room, a chill-out area, a hair and make-up room, a dressing room, washing machines, a private kitchen, shower and toilets. I was informed a project was underway and thus could not take any pictures.
Sugar Studios is the brainchild of the owners of MDM Props and was established a couple of years ago. Since then, the warehouse building has been host to shoots from clients including BMW Mini, Sainsbury’s, Adidas, and Usain Bolt. More recent campaigns include:
- A Fashion Week shoot for Christopher Kane.
- A music video shoot for Becky Hill and Ella Henderson.
- A product shoot for Elvie.
- A children’s campaign shoot for Schuh.
With lockdown firmly behind us, the event space will be used for photo shoots, music videos, theatre and dance rehearsals, and regular live concerts by Sofar Sounds. The expansion is exciting for the area, with a huge housing and commercial project set to start next year. The characterful old brick warehouse hopes to be a vital part of the local creative community in a similar fashion to craft beer giants Brew By Numbers which recently opened a new brewery and tap room nearby.
Sugar Studios champion young creative talent in London and have partnered with Ravensbourne University. They aim to be a versatile and attainable space for emerging studio-based talent in Greenwich – including producers, designers, artists, musicians and directors – to help foster creative business in the UK and London. And it seems to be proving a success. They’ve already seen multiple relationships blossom with students who have gone on to become some of London’s leading events and advertising talent.
The broad appeal of the space extends to tastefully chill-out areas, hair and make-up room, facilities for model shoots, free parking, and catering facilities. The onsite truck has a story of its own. MDM’s owners salvaged the old food truck from a layby in Wales and cleaned and tidied it up before installing it inside the warehouse lobby.
Out went the greasy burgers favoured by hungry truckers, and in came healthy food in the shape of toasted sandwiches, salad bowls, soups, and house-made granola and pastries. Meat-rich, meat-free, gluten-free or vegan are all available on the changing menu. The grilled toasties are to die for, as are the brownies, which I simply couldn’t resist.
There’s no doubt that when you want to focus on your tasks, you need a space that allows you to escape from all other distractions. Creative juices can become stuck if the right facilities are not to hand. And with Sugar Studios ticking all the right boxes, you’re that one step closer to being fully dedicated to your job at hand.
What’s more, you’ll be mingling with like-minded creatives who may just be useful for those times when you’re lacking motivation and need that little extra inspiration.
Sugar Studios – Where and How?
Sugar Studios is at South Warehouse, Greenwich Beach Morden Wharf Road, Tunnel Ave, London SE10 0PA. For more information, visit www.sugarstudios.co.uk.
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