Architecture — London

Village Underground
Creative Offices in Old Metro Trains

Part creative community, part arts venue, Village Underground is a non-profit space for creativity and culture in the heart of East London.
The main Village Underground centre is housed in a renovated turn-of-the-century warehouse primed for everything from concerts and club nights to exhibitions, theatre, live art and other performances.
High above Great Eastern Street, atop the venue, four recycled Jubilee line train carriages and shipping containers make up the creative studios of Village Underground.

These uniquely renovated spaces accommodate up to 50 artists, writers, designers, filmmakers, VJ’s, and musicians working side-by-side in a creative community.
In addition to being a cultural centre, Village Underground is an ecological project. From recycled trains and shipping containers, to reclaimed sleepers, staircases, furniture and flooring, they believe in reusing before recycling.

All studios are virtually carbon neutral. Powered by 24 PV solar panels, generating 4.92 kWp, they create enough energy to run all of our lighting and office equipment. Additional electricity is supplied from Ecotricity – 100% green energy from wind turbines.

Village Underground was born of the need for affordable, environmentally stable studio space for artists in central London.

Originally we explored several sites for the project, but the Broad Street Rail Viaduct stole our hearts. Built in 1848, the viaduct had been derelict for over 20 years and had self seeded into a meadow with trees and wildlife.

Along with the viaduct, we negotiated with Hackney Council to also take over the then severely derelict Victorian warehouse. Where better to start a cultural centre than a place whose previous incarnations include a railway coal store, a music hall, and an eighteenth century theatre?

The main renovations took place over the course of a year, just in time for our opening April 2007.


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Village Underground
54 HOLYWELL LANE
EC2A 3PQ LONDON

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