Architects’ Journal RetroFirst Stories: Cooke Fawcett plans new life for craft studios in 60s block
In an interview with Francis Fawcett of Cooke Fawcett, Architects’ Journal delves into the plans and progress of the redevelopment of Cockpit’s studios in Deptford.
Cockpit’s site occupies a 1960s former council office building and is home to more than 60 makers and micro-businesses. But this transformation of the building and yards is going to unlock underused space, to deliver lots of new studio spaces and much better public facilities.
“Over the years, we’ve learnt that joyful, inclusive and adaptable buildings only come about from taking the time to really understand clients and the communities they work with.
Working with Cockpit’s existing community of makers has been a great opportunity to better understand which qualities of the original 1960s building invite studio use. Ensuring those characteristics don’t get lost in the redevelopment has been a vital part of the process and a key lesson learnt.”
The project is funded by £2.3 million from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund and the Stride partnership, and the overall project budget is over £3 million. The remodelled building and site will accommodate an extra 21 businesses and support 26 new jobs.
“The aim of the project is that ultimately the different sides of the building – makers and public – should support each other and allow the wider Cockpit community to thrive. This has played out in space planning decisions and in terms of design and materiality; it’s important that all the new interiors will embrace the spirit of ‘Made at Cockpit’, with a robust aesthetic rooted in practicality and flexibility.”