Blue House Yard
client: Haringey Council, budget: £210K, str. engineer: Structure Mode, contractors: McElligott Building & self-build, with: Meanwhile Space CIC, photography: Jan Kattein Architects and Warren Cooper Photography
Haringey’s economy is dominated by small businesses. Over 90% of businesses in the borough employ 10 or fewer people. The Council recognises the contribution that small businesses make to the local economy and the limitations that rising rents and a lack of suitable workspace have on the sector. With funding from the GLA, the Council is delivering a family of meanwhile projects, including the Green Room Hotel, The Blue House Yard and Wood Green Works, acting as a precursor for the wider regeneration of the area. In August 2016, Jan Kattein Architects and Meanwhile Space CIC (aka High Street Works Ltd.) were awarded the contract to deliver and operate the Blue House Yard project on a disused car park in the town centre. The project provides:
• 9 two storey timber “micro-shed” workspaces
• 11 studios for creative businesses
• a new café in a double-decker bus
• a new public space
• a new minicab office
• 7 pitches for occasional markets
Our project brings into use council-owned property on a key town-centre site signalling regenerative change for the area. Planning permission was secured in December 2016 and works on site finished in June 2017. The micro-shed workspaces were delivered as a self-build project with volunteer help from the local community and carpentry students from Conel, ensuring that the construction process itself provided opportunities for learning, engagement and exchange.
What’s unique about Blue House Yard is the all-encompassing approach that was taken, combining the creation of maker space with the creation of public space, retail space, leisure space and event space. We hope that the ecology of uses on site will result in the nurturing of inter-dependencies between businesses, visitors and local residents.
See also www.bluehouseyard.com