Boar Lane Studios

Studio Bark, Leeds, 2018


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Lenny Codd     Download Original

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Boar Lane Studios is a pop-up creative community space in Leeds City Centre.

The project was the result of a collaboration between LJ Real Estate and East Street Arts, an arts organisation and leading provider of artist workspaces. The retrofit of the old tool emporium included the construction of five internal workspaces, created using Studio Bark’s modular construction system called U-Build.

U-Build is designed to be easy to construct, enjoyable to inhabit and simple to take apart and re-purpose. The system centres on assisted self-build, empowering communities to build spaces together, unlocking the social and economic benefits of ‘sweat equity’. The inherent simplicity of the system aims to solve design complexities using offsite production, helping to demystify construction for the masses.

The CNC components were fabricated by Cut and Construct, who have also been integral to the optimisation of the U-Build system, using intelligent tooling and jointing.

This conceptual project was conceived as a test bed for assisted self-build, a pioneering form of self-build, where facilitators help unskilled community teams to build their own spaces. At the beginning of the two days the prospective occupants were briefed on how the flat-pack system worked. They were then each tasked with building their own pods, guided by the Studio Bark team.

Boar Lane Studios was a charitable project that tested the self-instructional capabilities of the system during a highly enjoyable two-day build.

The FSC Spruce plywood pods are insulated with lambswool and clad in recycled polycarbonate. The pods are 100% demountable and reusable, meaning that when their lease ends, East Street Arts will be able to make use of their investment in another space.


  • Begun: Apr 2018
  • Completed: Apr 2018
  • Floor area: 40m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £25,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Mar 2018
  • Procurement: Informal tender
  • Address: 34 Boar Lane, Leeds, LS1 5HL, United Kingdom