Poplar Works is a unique multi-million-pound fashion and ‘makery’ hub combining manufacturing, training and affordable studio space, together with a community cafe, events and garden area.
Client: Poplar HARCA
Main Contractor: Niblock Building Contractors
Structural Engineer: Price and Myers
Timber Engineer: Price and Myers
Specialist Frame Contractor: B&K Structures
CLT manufacturer: Stora Enso
The hybrid cross laminated timber and steel scheme, designed and installed by B&K Structures, has transformed eighty disused garages into a cornerstone for the recreative and industrial identity of Poplar.
Poplar Works has been developed by Poplar HARCA Housing Association, in partnership with the Greater London Authority, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London and workspace provider The Trampery. The scheme strengthens London’s position as a global centre for fashion and importantly, provides an increase in job opportunities and training for the borough of Poplar which currently has one of the city’s highest unemployment rates.
The use of CLT overcame challenging logistical restrictions posed by the narrow shape of the site and its proximity to the A12 on one side and residential properties on the other. The hybrid system of CLT and steel in the cafe space has enabled the creation of a striking double height sawtooth roof and aesthetically, the natural look and feel of CLT has been embraced throughout. Externally the building is wrapped with rubber and translucent polycarbonate. Painted timber creates shopfronts and a lively working yard to what was previously an underused back street.
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