A force for good design in the community
When I ‘went it alone’ back in 2003, I rented a desk at an old printers on Munster Road in Fulham. It was a short walk from home and seemed to make a lot of sense with a potentially risky venture. I walked to work in the morning; there was a deeply enjoyable camaraderie with the guys who ran the office – it was the ideal setup. Time passed, the business grew and eventually we moved to our current studio at Stamford Bridge, but one thing has remained: we’ve stayed local. Our SW-centric-ness has served us well, essentially delivering good design in the community without that being our USP exactly.
However, over the last six months, we’ve been working together with a team of trustees to launch a new community centre in Sands End, south Fulham, just a short walk from the studio. It’s been the most fantastic experience and a lesson in the value of working local for everybody’s benefit.
The shape of things to come
Our project started with an empty building with amazing potential. But this was not just any building. Before the centre had even opened it was a multi-award-winning one, nothing short of an architectural marvel.
This incredible visual gift has really been the central force around which our work has circled. Commissioned by Hammersmith & Fulham Council, it was devised by Mæ Architects and inspired from the 19th century glasshouses originally on the site built by the preeminent horticulturalist James Veitch, we pared back the angular lines even further and used them as our branding for the centre.
We paired this brand concept with the elegant, modern letters of Camelot Typefaces’ Gräbenbach to complete the concept. Having agreed our branding with the Trustees, we then expanded this to include a logo for the in-house Walnut Tree Café and designed signage to tie everything together, which is now installed throughout the centre.
A place to visit, in person (at last) – and online
At its core, Sands End Arts & Community Centre is a place for local people, but they need to be told it exists and that they can use it for it to succeed. Our website aims to do that, and launched with plenty of practical information, imagery and news.
The photos were taken by local photographer Cameron Wells, who I worked with on photography direction and commissioning the content we needed for the site. In addition, I went along and took a few ancillary shots which have ended up on the site.
Built with the idea of having plenty of space to grow over time, the concept of the site is ease of use, accessibility and plenty of helpful information. We’re hoping the centre gets plenty of visitors, but also our website too, going to the heart of our belief that good design in the community is a wonderful thing.
Interested in good design in the community? Call us.
Our work for Sands End Arts & Community Centre is a classic example of our work crossing boundaries and focussing directly on the end user, in this case local people.
If you’re embarking on a council or local government design project, why not get in touch to discuss a wide range of different approaches? We can work on designs from the simple to the sensational, depending on your brief and budget.
Call us on 020 7351 4083 or email us direct.