A Victorian warehouse in the East London borough of Hackney has been turned into the Fisheries, a coworking space with a mix of pay-monthly hot desks and private offices. Jenny Southan reports
After an extended period of working from home during the pandemic, most professionals are now embracing “hybrid working”, whereby they base themselves from different locations (such as the home, central office or coworking space) throughout the week in a way that is most convenient to them.
Catering to growing demand for flexible workspace, the Fisheries is a project by Hugo Warner, co-founder of the Benugo cafe and restaurant group and Hackney resident of more than 30 years.
Opened in 2020, the space occupies in a building that blends the original features of a Victorian warehouse with a modern extension. Inside it is filled with natural light, plants and “contemporary shabby-chic” workspaces for freelancers and small businesses.The design, described by Hugo as “Hackney Heritage”, brings together vintage furniture, upcycled pieces from local markets and materials from reclamation yards.
Examples include old French-style work benches and bathroom doors that enjoyed a previous life at a local primary school in East London, and red telephone boxes that can still be used for calls (on smartphones).
Wraparound terraces provide al fresco areas for breakouts. There are also nine bookable meeting rooms, a photography studio and high-tech podcast recording suite.
Warner says: “I don’t think that people want to work within one uniform space all of the time. Sometimes you want to be on your own, other times in small groups of people and sometimes the best ideas come from talking with random people you’ve just met making your coffee.”
The Fisheries offers a mix of shared hot desks, private desks and offices for start-ups on each floor, interspersed with common areas creating what Warner calls “water cooler moments”.At the heart of the club is the Green Room, a multi-functional events space with a fully equipped kitchen to host supper clubs, charity events, members gatherings, training and presentations.
The Fisheries also hosts a programme of wellness, charity, fashion, and food and drink events for both members and non-members.
Warner says: “Community is at the core of the Fisheries, and by creating these water cooler moments strategically located around the space linking one area to another, we have tried to create valuable opportunities for our members to interact”.
In total there are three membership tiers:
- Community from £200/month (+VAT)
- Private from £300/month (+VAT)
- Office from £450/month (+VAT)