Cartwright Pickard’s £4.5m Metropolitan Works building for designers and artists opens in Whitechapel

The architect Cartwright Pickard has brought a taste of industrial chic to east London with the opening this week of its Metropolitan Works building in Whitechapel.

The £4.5m building is a “creative industries centre” with £2m of digital manufacturing machinery for use by artists, designers and architects.

A metal box clad in perforated aluminium panels, the building’s aesthetic is designed to reflect the industrial nature of the work within. On the ground floor, a frieze by designer Tom Price gives the centre a flowing illustration to contrast with the sparse functionality of its urban blocks.

The launch of Metropolitan Works is being marked with an exhibition of artworks created using the centre’s facilities, including exhibits by artists Antony Gormley and Tord Boontje. Built using off-site manufacturing methods by Mansell, the building achieved a “very good” rating from BREEAM.