Engaging with the neighbourhood
One positive outcome of the pandemic is how we have reengaged with our local neighbourhoods. We now travel less, buy our groceries locally, and talk more frequently and readily to our neighbours – and all signs indicate that this is likely to stay in the future.
Clockwise Woodgreen at Greenside House offers locals a place to rent a workspace near their home – particularly apt for those now working from home who don’t have enough space to establish a proper work area.
Creating an identity
Located near Alexandra Park and other green areas, the site felt disconnected from its immediate context, and its artificial and hard materials – originally from the 1980s – made it defensive and unwelcoming.
Inspired by the surrounding area, we proposed an indoor green route – starting from the entrance, running through a full-height atrium and ending in a roof terrace – to visually reconnect the building to Alexandra Park. The route also establishes pockets of green space that work as backdrops for activities, and which encourage people to interact and socialise.
Adapting to a new generation
Our work focused on developing small adjustments to the site rather than whole scale replacement, retaining what was good about the building while adding a new layer of history, as well as reducing carbon emissions and improving wellbeing.
The building was stripped back to its steel and concrete frame, and elements loosely inspired by 1980s Post Modernism – geometric shapes, a light-hearted and natural colour palette – were introduced to reference those who originally inhabited the building, and provide a fresh and domestic feel.
Engaging with the local community
Wood Green has traditionally been home to makers and creators, so we have provided local artists with spaces to create site-specific art, and a place to exhibit their work in the ground floor café, which doubles as an impromptu exhibition space for artists and visitors to mingle with tenants.
Wood Green is home to a network of over 500 artists supported by Collage Art, a charity which provides affordable studio spaces in the borough of Haringey.
We engaged with this local community of artists and commissioned site-specific works for the café and corridors. Lara Harwood - a Haringey-based artist with a passion for working with nature -produced a mural inspired by an area of woodland adjacent to the site which used to be an old railway track.
Richard Peacock, who has been working in the Wood Green Cultural Quarter as a printmaker since 2002, produced a series of prints called Call & Response for the office corridors.
“How to create a workplace that supports hybrid working and wellbeing, while also providing long-term flexibility?
People have a renewed interest in provenance – we want to know where things come from and how they were made.
We stripped out everything that wasn’t necessary. We exposed and celebrated the construction elements, allowing people to reconnect with the craft of making buildings.
We called it a ‘whole grain’ aesthetic – using materials that are textured, unfinished and reveal their ingredients.”
Massimo Tepedino Partner