New London Awards 2021 Winner - Hackney Bridge
Winner in the WORKING category
Hackney Bridge, located within the Olympic Park, is a meanwhile creative hub and public destination, comprised of five buildings arranged around a central courtyard, and is inspired by the industrial & creative heritage of the area.
The site will eventually be developed as part of the Olympic Legacy Plan for housing, but the interim period of 12 years will allow the site to support start-ups and offer opportunities for a diverse mix of local people on the Olympic Park and surrounding neighbourhoods through its mix of workspace, public facilities, events spaces, markets, restaurants, and bars.
Hackney Bridge offers a true mix of workspace types, transforming a brownfield site for an interim 12yr lifespan. The project provides space for the makers, artisans and startups traditionally associated with Hackney Wick alongside contemporary digital, food/drink and creative enterprises.
The assemblage of buildings interspersed with yards provides opportunities for tenants and visitors to spill out and interact, prompting chance interactions and cross-pollination. The market hall and event space provide platforms for members, whilst F&B units draw visitors on evenings and weekends to produce a mixed-use campus which changes throughout the week.
The range of workspace type and size (from room to industrial unit to acoustically isolated event space) enables businesses to start small and scale as they grow. Current members include a coffee roastery, e-bike delivery startup, furniture makers, small-batch pickles and a family-run streetwear label. Local startups are offered discounted rates to foster the next generation of innovative businesses in an inclusive and dynamic setting. Hackney Bridge showcases how meanwhile projects can produce meaningful change in a short timeframe.
Social & Economic
- 100% independent businesses, 50% startups.
- 10 supported entrepreneurs typically paying 35-50% of full rental value.
- Wider social benefits including event space free for community use.
- Community Investment Scheme sees members give back time to local partner organisations.
- Apprenticeship scheme.
- 39 member businesses from target Growth Boroughs.
- 68% of the workforce are from BAME backgrounds.
Environmental & Sustainability
- Circular economy approach to design, construction & lifespan.
- Buildings can be dismantled & recycled or relocated.
- Concrete minimised.
International Jury Quote
One of the few projects that challenged the corporate notion of work. Integration of work and leisure. You don't have the feeling that you 'clock in' just to work