Re-imagining an iconic Hackney landmark
Hackney Depot is the re-imagining of an iconic inner city building – a long-abandoned space of incredible character and natural light sitting-above the fully operational TFL Ashgrove bus depot in the heart of Hackney, much recognised and loved by local residents.
Inside, 2000m² of renovated studio space provides home to over 22 modern-day maker businesses, united by a reduce, reuse and recycle ethos. The studios are anchored by a 215m² open-plan atrium space for pop-ups, product launches, fashion shows and intimate one-off music events.
Radiator were delighted to come out on top of a competitive pitch to secure the branding to re-position the Depot in its new mission. The aim was simple: ‘let’s breathe new life and energy into this old building with a community of makers and creatives.’
Crafting an Iconic Brand
Upon our first visit to the Depot, we were immediately struck by the imposing entrance. Instantly recognisable, the enveloping 'H'-shaped columns provided a clear visual reference point; fundamentally linking the newborn brand to the space it represents.
In a nod to the functioning depot and buses that to and fro below - the striking red brand colour was another clear choice. All that was left was to select and tweak a suitably clean and crisp sans-serif typeface to round-out the instantly-recognisable core of the brand.
Getting the word out
Hackney Depot's digital strategy became key to ensuring a successful launch as on-site renovations neared completion.
We quickly rolled-out an eye-catching campaign website to drive brand awareness and provide the key spec information for their available spaces through welcoming, playful interactions.
The site was retired once the Depot was fully occupied with long term tenants, with focus turning to Instagram as a key touchpoint for engaging with the local residents and their growing creative community.
Growing a community
Attaining brand advocacy was always a core objective for the Depot - a bold move but one which encapsulates the brand's collaborative spirit and commitment to community. The striking, flexible brand elements proved to be the ideal catalyst as the brand was fully embraced by the Depot's community of start-ups and makers, and the wider local community who skirt its walls every day.
The striking red 'H' has since appeared on everything from craft brewery collabs to spray painted on canoes floating on the Regent's Canal, captured in paintings by aspiring local artists and splashed across the venue listings of London Design Week programmes.
“Having worked on the refurbishment of our building and looking at every inch of it for months I was struck by the genius of Radiator on their arrival down from Glasgow and immediate decision to use our brutal entrance as the cornerstone of our branding. We’ve never looked back!”
Brian Gavin, Director 6AM Development Jul 2022
Impact to date
- All studio spaces rented within 7 months of brand launch
- Main event hire space bookings exceeded 12 month target in 3 months