Gabriels Wharf

Project Evaluation:

Project summary: A market, shops, restaurants and performance space as a long term interim use on an under utilised site.
Location: Lambeth, London

Programme: Restaurants, shops, markets

Initiator: Urban Space Management

Project Duration: 4 years

Lead in Time: 3 months

Site Area: 1850m2

Client Team: Coin Street Community Builders

Project Team: Urban Space Management

Funding Sources: Urban Space Management £78k

Funding Type: Investor Capital

Project Costs (Build): Unknown due to age of project

Project Costs (Operation): Unknown due to age of project

Profitability/Loss: Profit

Permissions / Permits: Full planning permission

Local Links: Coin Street Community Builders as well as being the land owner represent and are from the local community.

Publicity/advertising: Local advertising, Press, PR

Project Evaluation:

Site Details & Ownership:
In 1988 the site was a vacant Thames side site overshadowed by a large blank facade of the adjacent Princes wharf building. The site was and remains owned by Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) and whilst the interim use still exists over 25 years later the site remains earmarked as a development site in the local plan.

Project Reach / Visitors / Target Audience:
The project was aimed at making a profit in 4 years by bringing a diverse demographic to the site. The varied programme of the site sought to support the case for a similarly programmed permanent development also owned by CSCB at the nearby OXO tower development.

Problems Encountered / Overcome:
The biggest challenge was activating a site which at the time had very little activity, the mural along the large blank wall to the west of the site was a key device in declaring the space as something different. The mural was supported by an active and varied programme, 3 hot food venues from the start and the retail offer supported by craft workspaces (these were very cheap to build due to less demanding regulations of the time).

Feedback from users / staff: On the mural: “At the time (I worked round the corner and cycled over Blackfriars Bridge every day), there was nothing at all in the area really. Weekend TV studios were a silo and the South Bank promenade a dream. This was probably the first project to open up the area with something different. The mural did just that. Marked out the site as a different place and gave it a lovely feel.”John Burton – Urban Space Management

What next?
The project had an original target of turning a profit within 4 years yet over 25 years later the interim programme is still as popular as ever and has in many ways become an integral part of the South Bank in its own right.

Coin Street Community Builders now runs the site but the programme hasn’t changed dramatically from its initial concept.

The site remains in the Lambeth DPD and is a major development opportunity site. The preferred use at ground floor level is, in words at least, similar to the current Gabriel’s Wharf use, likely due to the continued success and popularity of the current interim use.

Complementary Programmes:
The mix of retail and workshop space has provided a dynamic mix for over 25 years.

Project Website / Further Info: