General Projects is seeking to create a model for how to provide London’s SMEs, artists and makers the workspaces they need.

Plant is a new concept for adaptable, affordable buildings for creatives envisioned by Jacob Loftus of General Projects. There is a genuine lack of affordable space for creatives and start-ups in London who often inhabit dilapidated poor quality buildings on the city fringes. Other factors pricing this creative community out of London are high operating costs, the reduction in supply of industrial land in London and the quantum of affordable office space being converted to residential under Permitted Development Rights. Plant starts to address these issues by providing affordable purpose-built creative workspace that can be adapted to sites of any shape or size.

Hawkins\Brown in collaboration with Sam Jacob Studio have helped develop Plant by designing four separately articulated buildings with external circulation. The arrangement of these buildings is flexible, varying from a linear, to a courtyard arrangement depending on the shape of the site. These can then be adjusted in height and clad in materials to suit the urban context.

We have worked with structural engineers Buro Happold to develop a modular system for a variety of creative uses including creative offices, artists studios, maker spaces and shared spaces, the purpose of which is to save cost and time during construction. The buildings are high-quality, adaptable and buildable, we are now in discussion with several Local Authorities about site specific projects for Plant and are looking to find more.

“The primary purpose of a successful workplace is to facilitate and network achievement. The location and spirit of a modern workplace needs to inspire. The facilities and dynamics of an effective workplace have to be quick to adapt, to change.”

Jacob Loftus General Projects

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