Clerkenwell in the east end of London is awash with architects, designers, buyers and students hunting the latest design trends, innovations and products. Clerkenwell Design Week 2015, now in its sixth year, is better than ever, reinforcing how this area of London has been regenerated as a “Design District” blending with “Tech City” around Old Street.
One of the key venues is the empty 19th century Farmiloe London which provides a variety of spaces including the atrium, currently showcasing Renault, former offices and open floors. Good news for the building – Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios has been appointed as architects for its redevelopment- but bad news for Clerkenwell Design Week in that one of their key “edgy” venues will disappear. We need spaces like these in London.
The Farmiloe Building in St John Street was opened in 1868 by George Farmiloe & Sons as offices and showrooms for their furniture business and remained in use until 1999, since when it has been empty though it has provided a great backcloth not only for design and fashion exhibitions, but for Batman, the Joker, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes and others for films and tv productions.
The building still remains in the ownership of George Farmiloe & Sons who now propose to refurbish the historic building, demolish later additions and add a new one to increase the amount of commercial space and make a new architectural statement on St. John Street.
Feilden Clegg Bradley will achieve a sensitive redevelopment. Clerkenwell claims to be “home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet, making it truly one of the most important design hubs in the world.” While a loss of a unique venue for Clerkenwell Design Week, the redevelopment reinforces the revitalisation of this area through a design-industry led regeneration and may perhaps house companies who will take part in the Design Week in future years.