HTA has moved its London studio to a new permanent home in the heart of Hackney Wick

16 Jan 2023

HTA has moved its London studio to a new permanent home in the heart of Hackney Wick. The district has the most fascinating history as a place of invention, innovation and manufacture, undergoing rapid change over the past 20 years in part due to the 2012 Olympics. Increasingly a neighbourhood where people chose to live, our new studio creates a new workplace for nearly 200 designers, to help ensure the mix of uses essential to a successful urban centre.

Nestled between the parks of both Queens Victoria and Elizabeth, and amidst the twisting network of canals and rivers of the Lea Valley, it’s a more natural setting than our previous studios. The growing cultural offer at Stratford along with one of London’s most connected transport hubs, makes it a very exciting time to be moving here.

Our new home was created by the comprehensive renovation of a venerable old 19th century warehouse combining four buildings of varying size and character to create a single, connected, 21st century workspace that fosters the creative collaboration essential to our practice. This historic building has been gently manipulated to create a fully accessible workspace with all the essential facilities to encourage more people to cycle and walk to work. The environmental design optimised passive measures backed by air-source heat pumps and a huge array of PVs as part of our commitment towards net zero.

The building dates back to around 1860 as the home of ‘Parkesine’, the world’s first synthetic plastic. Invested by Alexander Parkes as a more environmentally friendly alternative to ivory it was then developed into the more commercially successful Bakelite. The chemical process also led to the invention of Celluloid, and with it the photography and film industries. The building has since been used to manufacture a variety of materials including lace and vulcanised rubber. More recently it was the book depository for Central Books, a publishing company founded by the Communist party in 1940.

We look forward to welcoming lots of you here in due course, for meetings, workshops, reviews, or events, or even just for lunch and coffee.