The Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes was formerly home to His Master's Voice (HMV) and later EMI. It is an underdeveloped and predominantly vacant site housing a series of derelict buildings in an ‘at risk conservation area' and in need of substantial regeneration. Five principal buildings dating back from the EMI era remain.
From the outset the client set the ambitious target of creating 4000 jobs on site and restoring The Old Vinyl Factory as the creative heart of Hayes. SEW believe the answer lies in bringing 'The Old Vinyl Factory' back to life as a mixed use urban neighbourhood by injecting new uses into the abandoned site to create a critical mass of activity that will compliment and invigorate the town centre.
After analysing the evolution of the place, the particular qualities of the locally listed buildings and their potential reuse, our masterplan sees the reinstatement of many of the original footprints and a similar level of site coverage to that previously experienced. Having established the new employment or community uses for the existing buildings - The Shipping Building, The Cabinet Building and The Record Store - we then introduce additional uses such as a cinema, workshops, restaurants and a crèche that will assist in creating a destination. These are clustered around The Power House, which is given a new lease of life as a performance venue and a district wide energy centre.
Collectively the new uses animate a series of vinyl inspired public spaces that line both Blyth Road and a new shared surface street called 'The Groove' which combine to create a rich and varied pedestrian route; a sequence of spaces and townscape moments connecting to the town centre and station.
With community life very much in the foreground we add a critical mass of residential accommodation, largely in north south orientation to maximise the sunlight to homes, workspaces and the public realm. Below the residential accommodation are affordable incubator spaces or small scale commercial and community spaces which effectively wrap the car parking, accessed from the reintroduced lanes that feed off Blyth Road. A signature multi storey car park called the Record Stack is located at the eastern end of the site.
The first phase of the project - The Gatefold Building - has already gained planning permission and a Housing Design Award in 2012 and will be on site by the end of the year.