The Old Vinyl Factory

Hayes, London
U&I Group
On site

This was the home of the Gramophone Company, later His Majesty’s Voice and latterly EMI.

The extraordinary history of music production was barely visible when we first visited the site in 2012. The site had become “London Gate”, a corporate offering in the style of Stockley Park but dominated by surface car parking and without the ecological setting of its more successful neighbour.

Our role started with an outline planning application for 650 homes, 20,000sqm of office space, an 8 screen cinema, affordable workspace, cafés and restaurants. This led to the detailed applications for The Gatefold Building, The Boiler House, The Power House and The Shipping Building all of which have been successful.

From a planning perspective the site was designated employment land and there was significant objection to the change of use proposed. Although the planning department could understand the potential benefits the local members were wary of a permanent loss of a business-focused neighbourhood. 

The local residents and wider public were also concerned that a large-scale mixed-use proposal would detract from the existing high street.

Our challenge was to find a way to release the site’s latent potential and to show the key stakeholders that jobs can be delivered within a development that has a diversity of uses. While the site enjoys excellent transport connections (15 minute ride to Paddington, 10 minutes to Heathrow) with the promise of Crossrail in 2017, it was missing an identity.

With a new name “The Old Vinyl Factory”, our ambition was to inject a sustainable mix of new accommodation back into the site in both rejuvenated existing buildings and in new buildings that frame a sequence of public spaces.