Gort Scott Architects has transformed London’s Walthamstow Central Parade into a bustling social enterprise hub.
The 1960s former council building now accommodates up to 50 independent makers and creative businesses, as well as providing an exhibition and flexible event space, which is open to the public.
Inside, the practice took the unloved building back to its bones: ‘We stripped back the linings of the outdated council one-stop-shop – the lowered ceilings, carpets, partitioned desks etc – to create a generous, robust hall like space,’ says practice principal Jay Gort.
Gort Scott also gave its a facade a refresh, painting the underside of the building’s existing wave canopy bright yellow. They also created two new street entrances to encourage footfall.
The practice collaborated with graphic design studio Polimekanos to develop a graphic identity for the project. Inspired by the building’s original decorative façade tiles, geometric motifs feature across floors.
Walthamstow Central Parade forms part of the council’s long-term plan to attract businesses to the Borough. Social enterprise outfit Meanwhile Space, which specialises in providing temporary and affordable workspaces for creatives, has been drafted in to run the mixed-use scheme, which includes an artisanal bakery and cafe.