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Highlights of 2016

14th December 2016

As we approach the festive period, we take a look back at some of the highlights and what we’ve achieved during 2016…

So where to begin?

Well, we should probably actually start in September 2015. We’d just finished the last grant funded version of the project (which you can read about here), and had just received confirmation from the GLA of £150,000 from the High Street Fund, which would be added to by £100,000 from Camden Town Unlimited to pay for the project.


But, we didn’t have a building to use. From running 8 properties at the same time during 2014, we now only had one existing space on Camley Street, so needed somewhere to use. And a serious amount of time during 2015 was taken up looking for a new location!

UCL Advances

(Above: Base KX on Camley Street)

So, a special mention must go to Kat at Camden Council for the idea and Rupert at Network Rail (and many colleagues) for making everything you read below possible.

At the end of August 2015 we (finally) had the keys to the former National Temperance Hospital on Hampstead Road.

Read what the The Spaces MagazineKentish Towner and Camden New Journal said about the project.


Temperance Hospital was big. 3,000 sq.m across 5 floors, and had no plumbing, heating, flooring, or, er, much else…

So while we were negotiating the lease on the building in the summer of 2015, we carried out an invited competition to appoint a design/build team to refurbish areas within the building, including: the kitchen, break-out spaces, ground and first floor co-working spaces, corridors, boardroom, locker room, external facade, and an HS2 community engagement centre.


A design team consisting of two Hackney based practices, Co-DB and RARA won the competition, beating 3 other shortlisted practices (Aberrant Architecture, OS31 and Sean & Stephen).


The refurbishment of the building began in September 2015 and was completed in 12(!) weeks.


(Above: Dream Team)

It included new electrics, flooring, plumbing and bespoke furniture was completed for £280k. A cost of less than £100sq.m.


Co-DB and RARA said:

“Our design and build team have spent three months, mainly onsite, stripping out years of institutional partitioning and servicing which has seen the ground floor of Temperance returned to a beautifully clear and light series of interconnected spaces.”

We agree, and in February Design Week and the Kentish Towner wrote about the project.

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(Above: Temperance Hospital post-refurbishment)

072 furniture catalogue

Co-DB and RARA made us a great collection of furniture, including the The Perfect Trestle Trable.


And in January we opened! First to existing Collective Members who were using our Base KX space on Camley Street, and then to the whole world…

We were full almost immediately.

In February, we welcomed representatives of the project’s three funders: Camden Town UnlimitedCamden Council and the Mayor of London for our launch.


(Above: Temperance Hospital Launch)

‘London’s booming property market is pushing up rents faster than in any other city in the world. That’s where Camden Collective come in. Camden Town Unlimited’s award-winning regeneration project launched to support business in the district.’  

– Monocle Magazine

And in March, the Open Workspace Providers’ Network (which we’re part of) published an agenda of 7 things the Mayor of London should do to secure a thriving and innovative London.

open w

We also took a look at the stranger spaces in Temperance Hospital…


‘From reverse charge calls to life-changing calls and prank calls – from sheltering from wind and rain, sharing a kiss, the smell of piss – everyone has a particular memory of phone booths.’

In June we won two corporate engagement awards. Bronze for ‘Most Innovative Collaboration’ and received Gold for ‘Best Collaborative Approach’ for our use of Temperance Hospital.

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(Above: The Camden Town Unlimited, GLA, and Collective team)

We also won a New London Award in ‘The Temporary’ category and were commended in the ‘Office Interiors’ category for:

‘Revitalising a vacant building prior to its future demolition, providing free hot desking space and subsidised offices for over 300 co-workers, to promote regeneration in the Euston area in advance of the HS2 link’.

Of course we couldn’t have done it without our ace project team: CO-DB & RARA (Design/Build Team), Shaw Corporation (Planning Consultant), Sheppard Robson Architects (Masterplan Consultant), and Newtons (Electrical/Building Contractor).

Following the success of the refurbishment of the ground, first and second floors, we decided to refurbish the third and fourth floors as well…


Which would mean we have 55 subsidised offices and studios.


(Yes, they did look like that)

In September we completed the refurbishment of the third and fourth floors, and our final room was filled in November.


We’ve run paid-for space previously but the real benefit of Temperance Hospital has been the provision of free and paid space in one location…


Ten business who joined the project using the free co-working space, have grown, taken on new employees, and now rent offices and studios from us. And four businesses have moved to new, larger offices within Temperance Hospital, after growing their teams.

And of course, the real success story are businesses like Tala who now rent offices in the open market.

In September during the London Design Festival, we ran two events exploring the meanwhile use of buildings and temporary architecture as well as hosting an installation produced by Co-DB and R-A-R-A, which showcased the project’s history since 2009.


(Above: Our LDF Installation)

The first event during the week was Co-work-work-work-work-work (yeah, we like Rihanna)…


Our pecha kucha style event brought together leading workspace providers from makerspaces, business improvement districts, commercial providers, as well as charities and social enterprises across London to share their insights…


Read our event summary (and download the slides) here.

And later in the week, we we hosted an event to do with temporary architecture and installations, named after Cate St Hill’s book, This is Temporary that inspired the events.cover-for-catalogue

There seemed to be a lot of writing on more flashy, show-off temporary architecture by more established practices and designers, such as the Serpentine pavilions for example, but not necessarily much about these young, emerging, socially-minded practices who are using alternative modes of practice, such as collective, participatory design and self-initiated projects.

Our pecha kucha style event brought together leading architects, artists, designers, planners and pop up curators to provide inspiration and celebrate temporary works across London.

You can read the event summary and the key themes that were raised here.

Special thanks to all of our speakers during the week: (breathes in) Carys Roberts, Research Fellow, IPPR, Simon Pitkeathley, CEO, Camden Collective/Camden Town Unlimited, David Kosky, Director, Work.Life, Pareen Patel, Operations, Hub Westminster, Chris Pieroni, Operations Director, Workspace Group, Sufiya Patel, Operations Manager, Bootstrap Company, Christina Hayman, General Manager, Makerversity, Finn Williams, Greater London Authority, Kevin Haley, Aberrant Architecture, Meneesha Kellay, RIBA, Xavier Llarch Font/Carolina Caicedo, The Decorators, Megan Charnley, Projects Office, Eddie Blake, Sam Jacob Studio, Carl Turner, Carl Turner Architects.


And of course, the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund and Camden Town Unlimited who kindly supported the events.

In November, we hosted a roundtable discussion with Rachel Reeves MP and some of our self-employed and freelance Collective Members.

The common recurring theme during the event was to do with the recognition of new business models and ways people are now working. Our favourite policy suggestion proposed by our Collective Members was:

“The creation of a government service like the Tenancy Deposit Scheme where self-employed people and employers would agree a fee in advance, which would be paid, and then which would have a resolution centre to help self-employed workers to be paid on time.”

November also saw the publication of the report commissioned by the Open Workspace Providers’ Network that we’re a part of.

The report investigated the value of Open Workspaces to London’s economy (£1.7 billion),

and developed policy recommendations related to the growth, development, and long term sustainability of London’s Open Workspaces.


You can download the report here and read key finding and the summary recommendations here.

So what have we achieved over the last year?

Well, 82% of the the 175+ business and 400+ people who use Temperance Hospital have increased their turnover…

They have provided 410 days work experience…

Raised over £6m in finance…

Taken part in 1900 hours of business support…

Been involved with 160+ collaboration with other businesses in the building…

And created 40 new jobs…

All of which is shown below.


And of course, a big thank you to all of our members: #BlogBug, #FreelanceDad, A Door In A Wall, accuRx, Afronoire, Alpha-I, AMS Design Studio, Apidura, Araminta, ArchTogether, Art Science, Ashleigh Wheeler Productions, Audiu, Augusta Steele Limited, AZAM, Backstage Forward, Basement Galley, B-Better, Beam App, BirdieList, Black Sheep Coffee, BlinkPool, Bloch’s Pickles, Bolter Design, Boutique Hotel Awards, Brolly, Camouflage Recordings,Candle Path, Cat in a Flat,Caventou, Chef Events,Cinema Jam, Claire ER, Claire Joines Illustration & Design, Clarisse Broussaud, CMG Global, Coach Bright, Community Channel, Crypto Quantique, Cultural Agency Collective, Dirty Films, DMN, Dreamscape Creative, East Street Arts, Eat Grub, Echo Beach Management, EdAid, Edifyus, El Seven, Entocycle, Entovista, Eric and Sophie, EventNinja, Events on Demand, Fairpie, Fanmoji, Farewill, Flashbackr, Flylancer, For Tomorrow, Forensic Outreach, Foundbite, Fox & Squirrel, Frugl, Garite, Gersiley Sousa films, Girls Talk London, Gnostic Jungle, Grub Club, Halycon Nights, He Wo Co, Henparty Academy, Hideout Films, Hire Creative Industry, Hiroes, Honor Cycles, House of Greenland, Innolla, INTO App, ITS GD, James and the Giant Veitch, Joboundu, Josefine Kress, Jubel, Kim Jobson Photography, Kinderly, Kitchup, Koru Kids, Kristabel Plummer, Laniakea Music, Last Village, Life to Live Films, Lightbox Ventures, Lisa Price Art, Little Birdie Solutions, Live It Out Agency, Living Room 128,Liz Nehdi Studio, Lobster, Luna Maps, Lychee Systems, Macs Boutique, Magic Elephant, MajorPlay, Makestry, Mallow & Marsh, Marine Tanguy Art, McCrum, Mckenzie Brown Media, Media Volt, Medic App, Mendzapp, Metable, Misc Studio, Motus Innovations, Moya Power, My Digital Shelf, Natasha Nuttall, Nerdic, Nina & Co, Nisha Stevens Interior Design, Nix&Kix, North London Cares, Nursery Book, Nuwave Pictures, One Third Stories, Orange by Design, Packaged Property Management, PACK’D, Pause Magazine, Pedals Delivery, Pilau, Pillow3 Products, PlusValue, Poleroid Theatre, Prix, Queen of Stickers, Queen Tea, Recovr, Rendezvous Events, Renn Designs, Retechnica, RIFT Management, Rivers Coaching, RMN Music, Rock & Raw jewellery, Rock n Raw, Saffron, SideKick JS, Since 92, Snapshot Staffing, So Fraiche Media, Sokap, State of Play, Studio Augustin, Sudden Black, Super Cat PR, Tetragon, The Arts Project, The Gaia Gallery, The Global Music Community, The Hideout, The Latin Programme, The Little Birdie Company, The Marketing Engineers, The Middle Ground, The Scissor Sipsters, The Web Street, TLM Architecture, Tobias Brebner, Toby McColl, Touchgate Entertainment, Urbangrains, Utter Couture, VinTick, Warblr, Waterfront Publishing, We Are Sidekick, We Are The Now, World Boutique Hotel Awards, WW Composition, XANA’s Boutique, Y Garden, Year Here, YesWeStock, You Go I Go, and last but not least, Zipporobotics.

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