A new place to work and play
An uninspiring 1980s office block has been retrofitted, transforming it into a hub for the local community.
Greenside House was formerly the rather shabby site of a Ladbrokes betting shop with offices above; now it’s playing a much more vital role in the community; offering locals a stimulating place to work and socialise near to their homes – particularly valuable for people without a dedicated space to work at home.
The public ground floor café offers local artists a place to exhibit their work, and for artists, visitors and tenants to get to know and support each other.
Despite its proximity to Alexandra Park and other green areas, the original building felt disconnected, a little defensive and un-welcoming. By introducing a green route – from the front entrance, running right through a full height atrium to the roof terrace, Greenside House is visually reconnected to the park. Pockets of internal and external green space provide backdrops for activities and encourage people to interact and socialise.
We’ve noticed that people seem to have a renewed interest in provenance – we want to know where things come from, who made them and how they were put together. We stripped out what wasn’t necessary, to expose and celebrate the construction elements, allowing people to reconnect with the craft of making buildings.
It’s perhaps surprising how much furniture and fittings contribute to wellbeing and creativity in the workplace. We used furniture linoleum to line tea points and table tops, which is soft and tactile and reduces the noise of clattering crockery (it’s also made using 100% renewable electricity and contains 28% recycled content).
The bespoke joinery was made from textured MDF boards, with lots of colour variation in the surface wood fibres.
Wood Green has always been a home to makers and creators; we got to know the local artist community and commissioned site-specific art works for the café and corridors.