Building BloQs Workshop
Current Building - Community Designed
- Original design
- Meridian Works - 5th Studio, Current Building - Community Designed, 2012
The 2018 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2019 programme mid-August.
We’ve set out to build a new way of working in our great but expensive city.
Building BloQs is a social enterprise – our mission is to provide flexible and affordable access to professional workshop space and equipment to support London’s freelance makers, small businesses and designers.
We believe the rising costs and loss of workspace threaten the making, manufacturing and creative industries and we have sought to offer part of a solution for the city.
Opened in 2012, Building BloQs is London’s largest open access workshop. The workshop space has grown out of necessity – after losing the lease on our workshop we found ourselves in the same position as many makers; struggling to find appropriate and affordable space to work in London.
Designed and fitted out by five co-founders and members of the BloQs community, our 11,000 sq. ft. open access workshop in Edmonton, Enfield offers industry standard space and equipment to work with wood, metal, textiles, paint, laser cutting and CNC.
BloQs is now home to over 350 makers who range from furniture and set + prop makers to sculptors, bike frame builders and fashion designers.
Building BloQs is embarking on an exciting new venture. In partnership with the Greater London Authority and Enfield Council, we are working on plans to open new workshop facilities at Meridian Works. Under the banner of Meridian Works, Enfield Council is exploring to create a creative and manufacturing district, bringing together small businesses, start-ups and freelancers who can then grow and evolve within the Meridian Water Regeneration scheme.
As the first phase of Meridian Works we are working together with Enfield Council and the Greater London Authority on plans for the creation of open workshop space for Building BloQs – a company born and based within the regeneration area – and ACAVA (Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art) supporting 300 jobs.
The new workshop space at Meridian Works aims to offer a greater and more diverse range of professional standard space and equipment to support the careers of more of London's freelance makers, small businesses and designers.
A £6bn transformation in Enfield, creating 10,000 homes and thousands of jobs.
Meridian Water is a major London regeneration programme bringing thousands of new homes and jobs to Enfield, north London, next door to the beautiful Lee Valley Regional Park.
Alongside new public open spaces, shops and community facilities, the development will have its own brand new railway station, already funded and being delivered by Network Rail and will open in 2019.
Meridian Water is being actively led by Enfield Council, demonstrating how the public sector can work at its pioneering best.
Women at Work: Then and Now, Enfield Making History, is a Heritage Lottery Funded project. It is delivered by ACAVA, an educational arts charity and Building BloQs open access workshops with Rachael Nee as artist-in-residence. The project is researching women’s work in industry from conscription in 1916 to the present and reflecting on this for the future.
Enfield has a rich heritage in manufacture such as the electrical and telecommunications industries. It was pivotal in the communication revolution during the 20th century, producing several ground-breaking technological innovations. The area was important enough for it to be called Britain’s equivalent to the Silicon Valley by industrial historian Jim Lewis.
These industries were hugely important, with large-scale manufacture of vacuum tubes, cables and lightbulbs opening up the world to radio, broadcasting and television. They employed thousands of women over generations in companies that were household names such as Fergusons and Thorn. Women were vital to Enfield’s success, but their role is largely undocumented.
After conscription in 1916 women were involved in all types of roles traditionally seen as male, including dangerous work such as making munitions at the Royal Small Arms Factory in World War One, they made the wings for Mosquito airplanes in World War Two.
For decades women have assembled, soldered, spot-welded and pressed in many types of industry along with piece or ‘home’ work to fit around their families.
Women proved to be adaptable and resilient, their work performed with much skill and dexterity. The work women did was important in progressing towards the right to vote in 1918. The argument that some jobs could only be ‘men’s work’ was undone.
For some, it provided an empowering confidence that women could put their hand to anything, which had a larger influence down the generations.
Much of Enfield’s vast manufacturing base, is now gone, with that, there has been a loss of sense of community and place; people have dispersed and this link to the recent past seems broken.