Acme Studios — Work/Live

Supporting Artists since 1972

Acme has been providing work/live support to artists in London since our inception in 1972.

Our work/live studios offer artists a period of respite from insecure tenancies, overinflated rental charges and the lack of care and trust experienced by many in London’s private rental system.

Following a review and interviews with artist tenants, we have reshaped our work/live programme to better respond to artists’ needs and provide stable, yet flexible, tenancies that encourage professional development and are allocated as fairly as possible.


Work/live studios are designed to combine artists’ studio and living space.

Approximately 50sqm in size, each unit’s living area doubles as a working studio with ancillary spaces for a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping area.

Our work/live studios are offered on three-year tenancies and our work/live rents are fixed until 2029. Due to the small number of work/live studios Acme manages, these units cannot be allocated to an individual indefinitely. Instead, they are designed to offer working artists a stepping stone to other housing arrangements, along with time and space for their practice.


Acme’s work/live studios support artists to build resilience for their futures. By fixing rents as low as possible (benchmarked against the Mayor’s London Living Rent scheme), artists have more time to focus on their practice or accumulate savings.

Space is fundamental to an artist, and not only for practical reasons. Having access to a decent, affordable home alongside making space is the foundation for good health and wellbeing.

Our work/live programme has been reshaped with three key objectives in mind:

  • Protecting and nurturing the future of artists in London
  • Prioritising artists’ long-term growth and development
  • Offering principled and transparent conditions for occupation


Our work/live studios are aimed at supporting artists who have pre-existing professional experience and momentum for their practice but are struggling with the cost of housing in London.

To be eligible you need to demonstrate:

· You have a current and active professional fine arts* practice of at least five years

· You have the Right to Rent for a minimum of three years

You are not eligible if:

· You are in full time education

· You are a homeowner

· You are a previous tenant of an Acme work/live studio

* (e.g. painting, drawing, sculpture, print-making, fine art photography, installation, performance, multi-media, video and time-based work, socially engaged or participatory practice). This does not include design, fashion, music or commercial photography.


Eligible artists interested in our work/live studios can submit an expression of interest when vacancies arise. Names are then selected for viewings by a random generator. After artists attend viewings, they will have the option to submit an application.

We are using random selection in this process to offer an equal chance for all artists interested in our work/live units, when demand for these studios is so high.

Other resources

We recommend that artists interested in our work/live studios continue to look for accommodation at the same time.

Due to high demand, the limited number of studios available and our aim of keeping allocation fair and unbiased, it is impossible to predict if, or when, artists will secure viewings or allocation.

If you are experiencing imminent homelessness or housing issues, these resources may be useful:

Shelter - A wealth of comprehensive information can be found on Shelter’s website under the ‘Housing Advice’ menu

Crisis - Helping people directly out of homelessness

The Outside Project - An LGBTIQ+ Community Shelter, Centre and Domestic Abuse Refuge in response to those within the LGBTIQ+ community experiencing homelessness