Last week I got a chance to combine a work trip to London with a visit to the Farmiloe Building in St John Street, Islington which we are fortunate enough to be working on. Having only recently joined the team of this project, this was meant to be a site visit in order to familiarise myself with the building. So far I had only seen it in drawings and photographs, so I had been looking forward to visiting it for weeks now.
The Farmiloe Building has been owned by the Farmiloe family since c. 1850 – a merchants family who started off their glass and lead trade business here back then. Today, the building is unoccupied but regularly being used for exhibitions, photo shoots, fashion shows or even as a setting for some blockbuster movie!
As it happened, that day was also the last day of the Clerkenwell Design Week, with the Farmiloe Building being one of the venues of this annual London event, so I was in for a bit of an unexpected treat… –
Rather than a deserted, faded building waiting to be reanimated, I was welcomed by a hive buzzing with people and filled with some stylish modern designer objects. Light, colour, texture, form and noise everywhere!
The craft character and warmth of the wooden floors, bright red lacquered metal structure and brick walls of this historic warehouse presented a lovely contrast to the smart, slick contemporary light fittings and furniture on display. The fusion of both created something completely new which I found very inspiring as it was a vision of what the building could become as a result of the planned regeneration and re-use work.
I happened to talk to a few of the exhibitors as well as some fellow visitors, and everyone said how they loved the vintage quirkiness and character of the place.
Amongst all the exhibitors’ signs, one slogan struck me as quite spot on for this first visit to the Farmiloe Building – “Not only lamps but pure emotions”…