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The Foundry on Old Street to Close
Plans approved for hotel and retail complex re-development
by: Spoonfed Arts Team
05 February, 2010
Popular East London venue the Foundry is set to be demolished to make way for a hotel and retail complex.
Hackney Council last night approved plans to knock the building down to create space for a new 18-storey building which will include gallery space and a spa. The re-development will mark the demise of yet another prominent London venue, following the closure of the Astoria last year and reports suggesting Earl’s Court will be demolished after the 2012 Olympics.
The gallery-cum-pub, found on Old Street, has been a key player in London’s alternative art scene for over a decade. Art from the likes of Banksy and Gavin Turk has been displayed on the venue’s walls, Pete Doherty used to host a poetry night there, and regulars at the bar have included Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, electro-pop act Hot Chip, and a host of underground artists and bands.
However, Foundry runners Tracey and Jonathan Moberly, who opened the gallery in the late 1990s, are now set to be evicted by April after they saw their objections to the plans ignored by the council. They are currently seeking to talk to the Tate Modern about relocating the gallery’s walls, one of which features a giant Banksy mural, but it remains unclear whether such a deal will be struck.