The Redmond Community Centre in Hackney, London was created as part of a wider regeneration programme in Woodberry Down. The centre operates as a social enterprise and hosts community projects, events and classes. The centre was designed with functionality and flexibility in mind but was lacking warmth and wasn't reflecting the centre's activities or use.
To create a cafe style environment in the existing waiting area known as the 'social area'. As the funding for the redesign of the space comes from a local project based on the themes of environment, climate change and community the items in the space should try to be as 'eco-friendly' as possible. All materials and items should aim to be sourced locally in Hackney or London itself.
This zone of the community centre is a social area and as such should be welcoming, inclusive and interactive to use. The space must be flexible to move around for different usage i.e, pop up cafes, events such as workshops, talks etc.
Both of the sofas in the new area were found through Gumtree and were only £100 for both! They were being used in a small media office in Soho, London and were about 2 years old. The grand armchair was found on Preloved for £150 with the foot stall and was collected from a private home in Islington, London. We had to ensure that the furniture used in the space held the necessary fire retardant qualities as those sourced through furniture companies that specifically cater for public spaces, and these were perfect!
If you can take your time in looking online there are bargains to be had. I found many other options in my research but these 2 and 3 seater sofas were perfect for the needs of the space. They are pretty lightweight too! Colour in the space is provided by the accessories and art work so it was best to find furniture that had neutral tones. All the cushion covers were made by me and are in a variety of colours, dependent on what fabric i could lay my hands for free!
RECLAIMED WOODEN CEILING & HANDMADE LIGHT
These wooden pieces are taken from a random selection of reclaimed floorboards that were originally used in places such as Walthamstow Dog Track and old houses in Central London. They were sourced through a company called 'Lawsons' who are based In Hoxton, London. They also supplied the wood paneling that is fixed to the main feature wall.
Each piece was carefully laid out on the floor beforehand so we could a arrange the pieces to match to the ceiling. An aluminum frame was erected on the ceiling and after the arrangement of the wood planks were set, the pieces were attached to the frame with a nail gun.
The paper cup light hangs centrally in the space and was handmade by me! You can read more about it here...
KITCHEN HATCH WITH TILED SURROUND
The kitchen hatch was part of the original architect design and much discussion took place on the specifics of how the hatch should open. I decided it was best to have 2 swing doors secure by a small door latch on the inside with chalkboard doors in order for groups to chalk up their menus for their pop up cafe or event. We also installed a reclaimed pine bar surface so meals could be pushed through the hatch area for ease of service.
The underground train style tiles were sourced through from a shout out on a local facebook group. The owner of the tiles had purchased too many and was selling 6 boxes for £30! Bargain! Just the right amount that we needed to cover the area around the hatch. The pendant lights hanging above the hatch were bought on ebay as secondhand items and the contrast of the white tiles with black grout complement the chalkboard doors.
RECLAIMED WOODEN TABLES & RECYCLABLE CHAIRS
The table tops were created from pine wood sourced from a reclamation yard in Hackney Wick, London. They began life as wooden floor planks and were sanded, joined together and roughed up with with some wire brushing to give more of a farmhouse feel. After a lick of wood stain they were ready to be joined to the metal leg frames. The metal frames were crafted by a local Hackney metal worker and were painted with 2 - 3 coats of black metal paint.
The chairs were sourced from IKEA and can be found here. Although it would have been more ideal to source pre-loved chairs, we did need 20 chairs that would be stackable to allow for flexibility of the space and also hold the official testing certificates for use in a public space. As a compromise on the ethos of the space, these chairs are 100% recyclable at the end of their life.