Journal: 22 September 2017
At the start of September, we moved into our fourth studio space, the Ideas Factory, situated above the prestigious East Gallery – part of the Norwich University of the Arts campus. This was somewhat of a home-coming as both Bobby and I are NUA alumni.
Cavendish House was acquired by NUA and redeveloped in 2015. The gallery space was formally occupied by a tobacconist – I fondly remember popping in to buy my monthly copy of ID Magazine.
Award-winning Hudson Architects who, coincidently, I can see from my window, were appointed to develop a multi-functional space for NUA. The ground floor houses East Gallery and is open to the public. The first foor contains our communal kitchen and meeting space. We are located on the second floor amongst several other creative businesses. The top floor is a co-working space packed with creatives such as copywriters, designers and photographers. Each floor is accessed by a beautiful wooden staircase that is drenched in natural light from a sky-light above.
Suspended above the open plan space is the crow’s nest. A calm, serene shared meeting room with views up St Andrews. Proudly displayed throughout the building is graduate work – the painting of the chair in the nest is perfectly mesmerising.
Our studio, on the second floor, looks down St Andrews and we have windows on two aspects. Light filled spaces are so important for us, for mood just as much as inspiration. Our interiors are paired back and simple, we prefer not to have too much visual distraction whilst we work. The strip lights in our space are a clean white light, recessed in to the ceiling. We have five windows we can tilt open and hearing the hubbub from outside makes us feel really central.
Our lease is for the next three years whilst we develop and grow Nor–Folk. We’re already finding the space a really uplifting place to work. I’m excited to see how the journey develops whilst we’re here.
If you live and work in Norwich, there are still really affordable co-working (desk) spaces available. Read more about the Ideas Factory via NUA’s website.
Words and photography by Fiona Burrage.