Location: London, UK
Date: 2019-2023
Client: The Collective
Status: Schematic Design
Size: 14,000 m2 (300 rooms), 11,650 m2 Co-living, 766m2 Venue, 360m2 Cafe-Restaurant, 160m2 Bar
Credits: ACME TEAM: Mahalah Attwell Thomas, Joao Bras, Stefano Dal Piva, Tim Laubinger, Duarte Lobo Antunes, Friedrich Ludewig, Alvaro Mandrazo, Vojtech Nemec, Francesco Trame
CONSULTANTS: AKTII (Structural Engineer), XCO2 (MEP), Alinea Consulting (Quantity Surveyor), DP9 (Planning Consultant), Caneparo Associates (Highways), Gillieron Scott (Acoustic), Sound diplomacy (Venue)

Walthamstow Forest is an East London Borough that has changed over the last 200 years from rural countryside to Light Industrial and more recently to Housing. As creative industries are slowly being pushed further eastwards from central London, the area has seen a great influx of artists and entrepreneurs, students and startups.

A venue on the site has been part of the area’s social life for over 150 years. Today, the plot is best known as the location of The Royal Standard, famed for musical and comedy shows until its closure in 2011 . The new building creates a 350 capacity cultural & music venue, as well as a public café, a bar and a restaurant to create an active daytime and evening hub for the members and the local community.

Above the ground, we have envisioned a new form of community building centred around a light-filled central space surrounded by shared workspaces, libraries, gyms, living spaces and communal kitchens, giving every member a space of their own, within a larger collective shared by all.  Co-living buildings are often designed to keep a clear separation between private rooms and communal spaces, akin to a hotel.  In Blackhorse Lane, the central atrium creates a multi level living room where collective spaces are distributed across the floors to recreate areas of shared domestic life, room for routines and for unexpected encounters.