Outside in the foggy stillness of Monday night, Anfield looked almost eerie with the (sadly) familiar sight of derelict buildings and cranes piercing the skies.
However, inside the walls of Homebaked, there was a decidedly friendlier atmosphere, and a feeling of revolution…
After a long break away from them while certain bits and bobs along the process were ironed out, we had another Design Team meeting.
During the break, we were sent the lease model by Stephen Hill (who you will remember came in to give a very informative talk with us about various tenancies). Cal looked at this model to see how it was viable.
In the meantime, Keepmoat have informed us that they are not going to be building on the square in the rec, so our potential ideas seem a lot more doable now!
Also, a few weeks ago, we had a meeting with Igloo. They are a company who support community lead projects (one of their most well-known ones, for example, is the Leather Market in London). They first visited Anfield back in 2010, and this visit inspired them to start their work on ethical, community-based projects. Their visit was an inspiring and exciting one, and though we are still waiting to hear back from them, I have confidence that they and Homebaked would be a good fit.
They have also had involvement in the past with our friends, Granby Fourstreets.
Before we moved onto looking at the newly rejigged model, Britt informed us that our potential event on the rec is actually going to be going ahead!
It’s to be held on the 12th December, and we’re all very excited about it. So much so, that our ideas will be collected in a separate blog post, and you are all more than welcome to share your own ideas and thoughts for the event as well!
We don’t have too long to prepare, so get those ideas shared!
On a personal note, Britt also informed the group that I have officially been given the role of Writer in Residence at Homebaked. I am honoured that you are enjoying my work with the blog, and I hope that there will be a lot more to come in the near future. Thank you for the continued support!
After we had all brainstormed about the event, Toby (one of our architects) discussed the new brief with us.
We are keeping to our original plan of a ‘contextual facade’ but with a ‘playful back’, but we are also going to retain our good ideas in a financially viable way.
The structure has now changed, potentially (though, with a project like this, it is likely to change again and again, until a final decision is made!), to 24 ‘apartments’/homes, which are smaller than originally envisioned, but larger than the standard.
This will involve the same massing structure we had previously, with the tower-like structure at the end so as not to overwhelm or dwarf the area.
We’re also looking at having four ground-floor studio apartments, which will open up to the rec. We discussed the possibility of tying these into the bakery, or possibly even linking them to LFC’s ground.
All of these ideas can be taken away or expanded, demand depending.
To get a better picture of how this new model might look, we studied the floor plans, starting with the small and going up in size to the largest, the tower.
While looking at these, we took a small break to write down any questions or thoughts we had regarding the plans, as the meeting up to this point had been pretty intensive (in a good way!) conversation-wise. The downside, if it can be called that, with such a creative team of people with so many ideas, is that there are too many to focus on without taking a break every now and then to re-access!
The new model brought forth some new aspects we hadn’t previously looked at, such as the studio apartments, and the idea of ‘storage space’, where bin or general storage would go. Some suggested that this area could be a potential communal space, as both residents and retail owners alike would be using this space, but it also lead to the discussion of the idea of other communal areas.
Would there be enough demand for a laundrette, for example, or any other possibilities for chance encounters, outside of the popular design of the roof garden?
Could we expand the bakery even, to make more communal space? Or, could we expand on the idea of Homebaked being a hub for all manner of activity within our local community? It certainly seems to be going that way in an organic sense, so what else can we do with it?
We also thought about the retail aspect.
There were suggestions of shops and services that would prove both unique to the community, and pull in attention from tourists and visitors alike, such as a combination football museum/shop.
I didn’t mention it at the meeting, but I visited Ulverston in the Lake District many years back, which was the birthplace of Stan Laurel. Though the place itself was a nice, busy, rural community, there was a similar structure there in the form of the Laurel and Hardy Museum. A small building that served both purposes – memorabilia for fans to buy, and also some to just look at but not touch, while learning a bit of comedy history.
It was a great experience, and I think something like that would do very well in Anfield. Though football might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there is something to be said about the sense of community spirit the team brings.
Another great suggestion was that of fashion or hair salons. As our street is on a popular bus route into the city centre, it would make perfect sense to have somewhere for people to get dolled up before a night on the town, or just somewhere nice to be pampered for local residents. Who doesn’t like a bit of luxury now and then?
There used to be a few salons in the area that have since disappeared during the blight, but in their day, they were very busy, so it would make sense to bring something like that back again.
So after much discussion involving many, many local people at events like this for all of this year we’re now getting closer to knowing exactly what’s wanted and needed here in Anfield/Everton. There is still a lot of detailed design work to be done and we need to think together about the non-residential spaces and how we can promote more local trade and partners to join us there. This is an open process, so if you want to join us, you can at any time. Just stop by the shop and leave your contact details so we can invite you to the next meeting (or send an e-mail to [mailto:h[email protected]’ target=’_blank’>link] [email protected]).
On the 12th of December we have a big Christmas event, celebrating our high street, local trade and enterprise and discussing the ideas for the new scheme publicly. If you live locally you will get a flyer through the door. And if not just watch our facebook page and/or twitter account.
(Photos by Ronnie Hughes)