Eight geotag journalists exploring your city. This week: Creative London.

Warehouse Community

By Valeria Testagrossa

While walking through Hackney Wick you tend to feel in another city, what with the river and the small boats it just feels like you are in Amsterdam.

But then there is one thing that reminds that you are in London: the lively warehouse community, where many artists and creative people have built the space to live and work.

Warehouses have a tradition of being the perfect places for creative people: low cost, open space and a lot of work to be done to make them a place worth living.

Manor House, Finsbury Park and Hackney Wick are some places where these communities can be found.

Creative communities

“We are like a big family of crazy creative people, we organise workshops and parties,” says Adam a designer who lives in a warehouse in Manor House.

He explains the theme: “ The cabaret party is a good one. We have a different theme each time and everyone has to dress up accordingly.” Now many of these warehouses have been turned into art galleries and studios. But over the last few years the idea of living in an open space warehouse has become fashionable.

The waiting for studios in Hackney list runs into hundreds and the prices are heading northwards.

“Its a pity that the places that once allowed everyone to have their space to create art have now become unaffordable to most,” says Susie, photographer, who has been living in warehouses for eight years.

Art house become posh

Warehouses all over London have now become an elite place to live and work. The rents starts form £650 a room.

Landlords have understood that this new trend could bring them a lot of money and decided to refurbish their warehouses, instead of renting them as they were and letting the people refurbish with recycled material and at low cost.

Once the warehouses are refurbished, stylish and suitable for very comfortable living the price is affordable just to the rich. Luckily there are still some old ones left in town, but you need to be very lucky to find them vacant.

Videographer Claudia has been lucky: “The warehouse were I live is the only old one in the neighborhood, I was lucky that I had a friend living here. She passed her place to me when she left. I pay £100 per month, but all the other around me pay six times the amount.” So art house is certainly becoming chic n London.

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