Practice Profile: FORGE Architects

Interpreted Identities features ten installations from architects and artists. For each, designers chose to interpret the identity of an extraordinary woman through architectural means. 

Many of these extraordinary women worked and lived in this local area. These installations celebrate community and architecture in union on Union Street  London SE1.

We spoke to London studio, FORGE Architects, who has interpreted the identity of P. J. Harvey (more about her here), to find out more about the firm and the reason why it chose P. J.

Why did you choose your extraordinary woman?
Stretching parameters we went outside the brief to find an ‘Extraordinary Woman’ of our time. P. J. Harvey is an inspirational artist. She’s not purely a musician but a sculptor with many aspects to her achievements. The two-time Mercury Prize winner P. J. Harvey is the only artist to have been awarded the prize twice. Furthermore, she has been nominated for the Brit Award eight times, has seven Grammy Award nominations and an additional two Mercury Prize nominations.

FORGE insisted on pushing the boundaries even further (much like our interpretation of P. J. Harvey)  by going taller than prescribed and adding experiential elements.

We acknowledged her roots, influences and the common themes found in her music to come up with a playful proposal in the hope of breaking the monotony to find some rhythm. A musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet, and composer, Harvey is a master of many instruments and persistently breaks the mould. 

What is your practice best known for?
Residential, commercial and community driven projects.

What is on the drawing board?
Various large scale residential and commercial schemes. We are also undertaking works for a private members club and a restaurant in Marylebone.

What is your favourite FORGE project?
Spa Road residential scheme: 33 residential dwellings, more than 400sqm of commercial space and associated services and transportation facilities located in the heart of the Bermondsey Regeneration area. Different elements create opportunities for green amenity spaces at different levels of the building and provide areas of interaction and focus for the residential accommodation. 

How does your folly reflect the approach of FORGE?
A 1.5 square by 2.2m-high volume was not enough to contain the complexities of P.J. Harvey so we designed a folly which exploded the volume in a simple yet playful way. 


About FORGE Architects
FORGE is a London-based practice with a wide range of experience in the planning and procurement of a variety of building types, including residential, community, mixed-use and commercial projects throughout the UK. FORGE sit on a number of community-focused boards. FORGE believes in simple, functional architecture that enhances both its environment and wellbeing of its end users.

6-8 Cole Street
020 7378 7782

To find out more about the Interpreted Identities design challenge, click here.

Olivia Mudie