Originally based in a handful of converted shipping container studios (the first such use of them in the UK), the site slowly expanded by modernising the labyrinth of railway arches between London Fields and Richmond Road, then grew into the boomerang shaped form of the HotHouse, the quirky architectural landmark that wraps around the park and peeks out of its custom amoeba shaped windows.
Today the community is still independent, and home to over thirty studios, two hundred souls, ranging from architects and film companies to vintners and dog walkers. We also host thousands of visitors a year. You might have been to Boiler Room when it was in one of our arches, hung out on our rooftop one summer, shot in our photo studio, worked out in the gym, come in for a hair cut. The core of what we do is to foster creativity.
Mediating between the private and public, we have a cafe and new gallery space that doubles as a common room and reception. Inside the secure site we keep a milk float to relax on in our private street/garden, a solar-powered conservatory lounge for reading and sketching, a meeting/eating space with vintage furniture, and numerous nooks for phone calls or conversations. The idea is to have our own friendly village, where you can shut your own door and focus, or wander around when you need a change of scene.
Our residents are supported by communal services (basically we do everything boring so you don’t have to) and our studios are set up to be flexible and affordable. Our gallery is free to use for all residents and publically curated to foster experimentation and new talent.