Welcome to my first PLATF9RM members letter.
One of my favourite things about PLATF9RM is the interest our members take in the business and I’m often asked about what I’m up to. Sadly, I don’t always have the time to answer as fully as I’d like, so the idea is I’ll address something happening in PLATF9RM, give a peek into the nuts and bolts of the business, and introduce some of our collaborators. We’d welcome any feedback you have, as we’d like this to be the first members letter of many!
For this first post we’re looking at Hove Town Hall: specifically the Ground Floor, which we started work on just over a month ago. For everyone in the PLATF9RM team this was a moment of deep excitement…and relief! I first saw the Ground Floor way back in April 2016, so it’s been a long journey for me. Back then it was an office for the Citizens Advice Bureau. It looked so different: a real old school office, with a suspended ceiling masking this huge, beautiful concrete shell. It reminded me of London’s Southbank, but in Hove. I loved it immediately.
The Ground Floor is going to herald a new chapter for PLATF9RM. It will combine coworking space for 200 people, meeting rooms, a lecture and event space for 120 people, with cafe, bar and supper club areas. Everything will, of course, be delivered in the PLATF9RM style that people expect. It’s going to complement our current space in the old Theatre in Hove Town Hall, and we’ll be able to use the outdoor area near the Juggler statue. It’s going to look dramatic and the fact it’s on the Ground Floor is important: it will connect us with the high street and Hove community in a way we haven’t been before.
Personally, I’m really excited about the chance to further regenerate Hove and Hove Town Hall. The high street can sometimes feel a little unloved and, though architecture fans will talk about the building as a Brutalist masterpiece, for many it’s perhaps a bit grey! We’re hoping that PLATF9RM – and its colourful members – will help change that perception.
We worked with Rich Brett of Hove based agency WeLikeToday for the design of the space. Rich has been involved with PLATF9RM since before we opened our first location in Brighton. He helped us conceive the brand and the unique design-led space people associate with PLATF9RM . We're also very happy to welcome honorary Brighton and Hove contractors S&G (they’re from Peterborough but we think of them as Brightonians!). They have built the majority of our spaces to date and Sean and his team are doing a great job.
There’s a long way to go with this build yet: we’re scheduled to open spring 2019 and no doubt there’ll be plenty of bumps between now and then. Personally, I feel like this project is taking me out of my comfort zone more than anything else I’ve done. But that’s what makes it so exciting! I am very lucky to have an amazing team at PLATF9RM who not only do a great job in their own right, but keep me focused and protect me when I need it. They are wonderful and I couldn’t do anything without them.
Thanks for reading,