Studio Series: Igloo Coworking Space

Igloo Coworking Space was set up this year as a place for architects, designers, engineers and those who work in the construction industry to hang out and be productive. We caught up with founder and SNOW Architect Dave Cornett

Hi Dave! Please describe your studio space.

It’s inside the Grade II* listed Church House, which is on Hanover Street … it’s been here for 150 years. We’re on the top floor of the building, and we’ve got exposed oak beams which provide us with a bit of sub-division really, so we can set up some desk spaces in between.

What work do you do here?

We do a bit of everything — we’re architects (I’ve got a firm of architects with Kevin Shields), but we’ve also got Structural Engineer David Ricketts, Interior Designers Louise Potter and Thomas Carter, 3D Visuals/CGI from Alan Smith, Landscape Architect Elaine Cresswell, Project Manager and Quantity Surveyor Carl Glover, Mechanical Electrical Engineers Gavin Blakemore and Paul Gerrard, Consultant Paul Jasper — so a whole kind of construction design team occupying the space at the moment.

How many hours a week do you spend here?

I probably spend about 30 or 40 hours a week. Obviously we have maintenance and site visits and various bits and bobs, so some weeks it can be a bit more or a bit less depending on those.

“It helps having a nice bright environment and also having an interaction with other people”

What helps you work?

I think it helps having a nice bright environment and also having an interaction with other people, so that rather than working at home, where you’re landlocked by four walls and probably not seeing anybody, it’s quite good to actually just come out and mingle with other people who are also in the construction discipline and kind of bounce ideas off people.

A lot of people are like us, in a small business, so we can kind of swap ideas about various things that have worked or haven’t worked or whatever.

What are your three favourite possessions in the studio?

Three favourite possessions? I don’t know — we’ve got a playmobil architect who sits on the window ledge … he doesn’t do much work but he’s quite cool.

If your studio could talk, what would it say?

“I’ve been here for 150 years.” I think it’d be quite interesting just to find out … it could probably tell you some weird and wonderful stories about what’s happened in and around it. Especially as we’re right next to Liverpool One, it’s had a fantastic view of what’s happened over the last 10 years with the redevelopment of the city.

And also it’s an original space because we [SNOW] were the architects; there was a corridor down the middle, and these were just rubbish storage rooms. In fact, we didn’t even know these oaken beams existed –  they were all hidden behind the walls and boxes of rubbish and stuff, and it wasn’t until we started demolishing that we were like: “aah!”

If you had one piece of important advice to give aspiring designers, what would it be?

One piece of advice? I suppose that if you’ve got an idea, like I had for an office space and co-working space, is probably just try and pursue it.

Fred Johnson

Igloo, Church House, 1 Hanover St, Liverpool

Photography courtesy Dave Cornett and Conal Hughes

Posted on 05/08/2013 by thedoublenegative