Central Parade, Walthamstow

Budget and programme constraints handled with aplomb

Central Parade
Central Parade Credit: Dirk Lindner

Gort Scott for private client
Contract value: Confidential
GIA: 800m²

Central Parade is the conversion of a prominent 1960s office: stripping out of the interior, creating an open plan area for the cafe, bakery and ‘meanwhile’ office desk space plus two larger shops spaces, and four tiny plywood-clad incubator units. Polished concrete floors, exposed concrete columns and soffits provide a robust, relaxed back drop.

  • Central Parade
    Central Parade Credit: Dirk Lindner
  • Central Parade
    Central Parade Credit: Dirk Lindner
  • Central Parade
    Central Parade Credit: Dirk Lindner
  • Central Parade
    Central Parade Credit: Dirk Lindner
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Within the shell, a suspended black metal frame with lights hanging from it draws the eye from the exposed services beyond. A graphic stencil on the concrete floor is in keeping with the building style, and simple bespoke plywood furniture adds quality. The plywood incubator units with shop windows are particularly successful. The flexible design lends itself to transient use. The architect dealt with budget and programme constraints with aplomb, especially when you realise that a large share of the budget went on new M&E and IT. The council should be commended for its own initiative to support local people and business, rather than relying on large private sector companies.

See other winners in the RIBA regional awards - London: Commercial 

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