Just around the corner from Wood Green High Road, Blue House Yard is a collection of new creative workspaces which will soon be home to a tailor, toy maker and a brewer among other local entrepreneurs. Framed by a bright blue studio complex, nine tall, slender standalone worksheds and a double-decker bus café, the Yard itself will become a much-needed social space in the town centre, hosting markets and evening events.
Realised by Jan Kattein Architects and Meanwhile Space (together, High Street Works) in partnership with Haringey Council and the GLA, the project has transformed a defunct Council office building and adjacent car park with the aim of nurturing talent and boosting local businesses over the next five years, as the site awaits comprehensive redevelopment.
In order to achieve an innovative design that establishes a distinctive character for Blue House Yard and is adaptable to the individual needs of a broad range of creative tenants, High Street Works embraced a self-build process. Here, construction is not just a means to an end; it provides an opportunity to test and prototype sustainable timber frame construction, helps to train eight local carpentry apprentices and it allows for the discovery of new design opportunities at every joint and every junction.
Each space has been devised to give its tenant the operational framework they need to grow. Homeworkers will have their first public facing space, new businesses will be able to do market testing and more established business can take on new staff. The public space means there are opportunities for all to benefit from tenants’ activities or be inspired to plan and deliver their own.
The first tenants are set to move into studios in mid-April as work on the Yard is set to finish in May. The tour will offer an insight into a project that, while nearing completion, is just starting the next phase of its creative development.
Photograph: Scheme concept sketch. Courtesy of Jan Kattein Architects.
Photograph: Blue House Yard under construction, volunteer building day. Courtesy of Jan Kattein Architects.
Photograph: Blue House studio interior. Courtesy of Jan Kattein Architects.
Header photo: Blue House studios. Courtesy of Jan Kattein Architects.