Green Tea Architects, Brockley Cross

Lewisham Council's ambitions for Brockley have - for some time - included attracting more small businesses to the area, which is seen as vital to sustaining a vibrant community and local retail. Small businesses bring people, activity and spending to the local area during the day, when the commuter population is away.

In particular, the creative industries were identified as a key target sector. Brockley has all the right elements for a creative cluster - good transport links, a large creative community and low rents. It's a little short of appropriate spaces, although the Martins Yard redevelopment should address this problem. And of course, the Tea Factory has provided new units, including space for the Tea Leaf Arts gallery.

So that's been the theory for the last few years, but just recently, it's started turning in to practice.

Tank Gallery has opened, animators Melancholy Star have set up in Brockley, a lighting design company has moved in and the creative community has begun to coalesce through projects like Brockley MAX, Tea Leaf Arts and the Creative Mums Network.

The latest addition to Brockley's creative cluster is Green Tea Architects. A new practice, specialising in sustainable design - Green Tea Architects was founded by three Forest Hill residents and named after The Tea Factory that will house their studio when it opens on July 27th.

We spoke with one of the founding partners, Anne Dixon about their reasons for choosing Brockley:

"We're locally based and wanted to live the values we promote through our work. So we wanted somewhere local, close to public transport, but somewhere which is accessible for a range of clients. Sometimes things just fall in to place and in this case, all roads seemed to lead to Brockley Cross.

"We also like the building itself, which is a real landmark for the area, we enjoy being part of a really creative community and we have friends who are involved with Tea Leaf Arts [in fact, they helped Tea Leaf Arts with the fit-out of the gallery] and it will be great to be next door to something so new and exciting.

"The list of projects we're currently working on ranges from educational and community projects through to residential and retail developments. We design stand-alone buildings and interiors.

"We're definitely keen to make a positive contribution to the community and we hope that we'll attract new people to the area - I was at an architects party last Friday, plugging Brockley furiously.

"One of the first things we'd like to do is make some improvements to the front of our new office, discouraging cars from parking in front of the windows by softening and greening the area with some simple planting."

Green Tea Architects
The Tea Factory
104 Endwell Road
t: 0208 469 3637