Located on Tottenham High Road, the development of The Yard is a key part of LB Haringey’s rejuvenation of Bruce Grove, particularly in supporting local and independent businesses. The project will see the transformation and expansion of the existing locally listed building to create a new community enterprise hub with a cafe, community event space, and low cost workspace.
Back in the late 19th century, the existing building was designed to be the public face of the Tottenham Brewery. The neo-classical facade is the only element to survive from the original building. It’s position and ornate stonework was designed to attract passing trade from the High Road. The new development is intended to achieve a similar goal, and seeks to maximise the building’s potential, using it to enliven the town centre and generate economic activity on and behind the High Road.
One of the key drivers for the design has been the desire to maintain views from the High Road to the trees behind the existing building. In an area with low levels of green space, the view is one of the few moments of visual respite. The design solution splits the new upper levels into two, with a planted roof terrace at the centre, maintaining the vista and amplifying the greenery.
Central to the project was an ambitious programme of meaningful engagement with the local community, and young people in particular. Working with engagement specialists Street Space, we recruited two Young Producers who had close links to the existing community, and who provided a hype local focus to the engagement. Using their knowledge and connections, we targeted radical inclusivity.
Conducted entirely under Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, 5000 flyers were distributed to addresses within 1 mile of the site. These were to inform residents of the project, the co-design process, and to ask for their input. This was a strategic move to ensure those less engaged online were included in the process and could have their voices heard. We worked with local community centres and schools, to use their networks to ensure the process included as many local voices as possible.
The engagement and co-design process for The Yard reached over 5000 local residents over the course of 5 months (October 2020—February 2021). Of these, over 120 either attended a workshop or provided critical feedback on the emerging proposals. Events and activities included stakeholder interviews, online idea development workshops, cooking events with local chefs, and a story-telling session with a local primary school, amongst many others. The process was highly effective in shaping a design that has a connection with the local community, and that it would need the needs of the local population.
‘’I think it’s incredible overall and really appreciate that some of my own ideas and those from the community engagement meetings were incorporated. I can tell you’ve valued and considered the suggestions.’’
— Local 6th form pupil
''The proposed development has been sensitively designed through an extensive design exploration carefully discussed with the council officers. The scheme has been informed by sound conservation-led approach and imaginatively developed in full respect and with maximum enhancement of the heritage assets involved. This development proposal provides a bespoke, harmonious and very positive design response to a unique and very special part of the Bruce Grove Conservation Area.''
— Haringey Conservation Officer
London Borough of Haringey
Bruce Grove, London