Named in honour of the building’s longest-standing tenant, R Green Fisheries, The Fisheries in Hackney was built in the mid 1880s and, amongst other things, was used to process potatoes, make cloth and even manufacture hats. It was acquired in 1987 by Warner Cox Ltd and over a 24 month period was sympathetically redeveloped into a stunning, contemporary co-work space that provides state-of-the-art facilities while also paying homage to the building’s industrial heritage. The new space features 30 studios, 150 desks, a number of flexible meeting rooms, a library, photography studio, concierge, phone booths, podcast recording studio and a private event space with catering facilities, as well as number of individual, high-spec, contemporary apartments.
PBC was appointed to appraise and monitor the project on behalf of the funders, initially Westcity Properties Ltd and subsequently United Trust Bank Plc, which included an initial report prior to first draw-down and then subsequent monthly site inspections and interim reports over the development period for both the base building and fitting-out works.
The development was procured via a construction management arrangement, whereby individual trade contracts were managed by the developer and construction manager Warner Cox Ltd, with the foundations, groundworks and concrete frame package carried out by one contractor. The use of post tensioned concrete floor structures meant that design coordination for services distribution was essential at the start of the project, and needed subsequent close management by the development team. In addition, following the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire, an upgrade of the external envelope specification and construction details was needed, and this was completed to the satisfaction of the building control officer and London Fire Brigade.
The attention to detail, and the desire by Warner Cox Ltd to make sure the development reflected the semi-industrial warehouse heritage of the site and surrounding area, has created an iconic building that doesn’t just look good, but if feels good too. The commercial space was designed specifically to house a vibrant community of small, entrepreneurial and creative businesses; the 31 individual flats have large terraces and Juliette balconies, handmade kitchens, reclaimed parquet flooring, sandblasted concrete ceilings, exposed brickwork and floor-to-ceiling windows, making them both modern yet traditional. There are also six sky houses on the roof.
With the development now completed, The Fisheries has proved popular with both new and established businesses, as well as young and lively people drawn to the area by its central location, dynamic lifestyle and open spaces.