Warehouses are a great starting point for thinking about how to design new spaces for makers. They are solid and (almost) indestructible. They have direct access to the street or yard. And the acoustics tend to be good.

As London has flourished and pressure on land has intensified, these very functional spaces are under threat. And now Clarnico Quay has given us a chance to explore these concerns in a very concrete way. The site is sandwiched between Hackney Wick and the canal on one side, and the former Olympic site on the other. New housing and offices are springing up all around, but development can’t just be about those.

Existing Site

We visited the existing makers and artists here to see how they work and what kind of spaces they need. There were no surprises. The concrete-framed warehouses built out of brick serve them well, with large volumes being sliced and diced into low-tech, loose-fit spaces and capacious goods lifts. The external yards seemed purpose-built for their needs, too. They were perfect for deliveries, storage, and working outside by day. And at other times they became gathering and performance spaces.

 

How we’re doing it:
• We’re working once again with Make Shift, our friends from Peckham Levels and Pop Brixton.
• We’re approaching the site as a micro-city.
• We’re using old forms to design new spaces.

Early concept sketch

What you’ll find:
• Art studios and maker-units
• Co-working spaces
• Interesting public spaces
• Cafés
• Bars
• Event venues
• Exhibition spaces
• And a thriving yard life between the buildings

 

 

 

 

Client:
Make Shift

Completion:
Ongoing

Images:
Turner Works