London’s Design District, the new purpose-built creative hub at the heart of the Greenwich Peninsula, opened its doors to the public and is set on becoming a prominent destination for the city’s creative community. Comprising 16 buildings designed by a collective of eight renowned architectural studios and with landscaping by Schulze+Grassov, the project aims to gather startups, artists and entrepreneurs across many industries, generating a vibrant new neighbourhood.
Showcasing an eclectic display of architecture and outdoor spaces, the Design District is built on the vision of a “creative ecosystem”, where businesses and individuals can interact and exchange ideas in a synergic way. The project had its official opening on September 15, marked by a series of events that introduced to the public the development together with the newly arrived creative community. A programme of architecture tours talks about design and art shows will unfold thought the month.
The development comprises affordable workspaces, studios and workshops, as well as sports facilities, a food market and spaces dedicated to leisure and cultural activities. The eight leading firms tasked with shaping the Design District were Barozzi Veiga, 6a Architects, Mole Architects, Architecture 00, Selgas Cano, HNNA, Adam Khan Architects and David Kohn Architects. Each practice independently designed two buildings with various aesthetics, creating a diverse assemblage of architectures and spaces that replicates the atmosphere of an organically developed neighbourhood.
We wanted to create a space where we can nurture and nourish the creative industries, somewhere that creative freelancers could find a home and meet colleagues. It will give you all the tools and the space to grow, from a sole practitioner to a small team – and beyond. – Helen Arvanitakis, director of Design District
The first tenants of the new hub come from a wide array of backgrounds and include designers, performance companies, a social enterprise for refugee women, music labels, as well as an LGBTQ+ non-profit. In addition, one of the UK’s most influential institutions providing vocational education, Ravensbourne University, has also taken residency in one of the buildings designed by Barozzi Veiga, which will house the postgraduate department. The Design District has announced a significant reduction in rent for the first year to help kick-start London’s creative recovery after Covid.