The post-industrial superclub, Printworks London, with a capacity of 6,000, may potentially open again in 2026. This comes after the property developers who own the site submitted their plans to Southwark council.
British Land and AustralianSuper, a major pension fund in the country, jointly presented a comprehensive plan to the council on Monday for the renovation of the Rotherhithe site into a permanent cultural establishment. This comes just over a year after the club closed down.
The two parties are currently in discussions with Broadwick, the company behind Printworks, to operate a new venue. This venue will be located in one half of a building that used to house the printing machines for the Daily Mail and Evening Standard. The other half, called the Grand Press, will be converted into offices and retail spaces for 1,500 employees. They are aiming to obtain approval for this project in the coming months.
Printworks forms part of British Land and AustralianSuper’s £6bn Canada Water project across 22 hectares (53 acres) south of a bend in the River Thames, opposite the skyscrapers of the Canary Wharf financial district. Forty buildings are planned with up to 3,000 new homes – of which 35% will be affordable – and offices with space for 20,000 workers.
Emma Cariaga, one of the leaders of the project for British Land, stated that they are drawn to the idea of creating a brand new section of the city and a new district specifically for London. Their goal is to establish a long-lasting cultural destination that will gain global recognition. In the past six years, Printworks has become a renowned location for electronic music and is now considered one of the best clubs in the world. However, their plans aim to expand its offerings to include a more diverse and extensive program.
Architects HawkinsBrown have sought to preserve the original industrial look of the Press Halls, which would host electronic dance music club nights, concerts, immersive art shows and corporate events. The Inkwells would become a performance space for immersive exhibitions and intimate music events.
British Land plans to preserve a significant amount of the initial printing machinery, such as the four-story tall and 150-tonne final press, as well as rollers, paper racks, ink lines, and valves. They also intend to keep the last paper roll that was still inside the press in the building.
The structure, built in the 1980s under the Daily Mail Group, has a view of a newly developed park by the Thames. British Land intends to incorporate a rooftop patio and additional meeting and conference rooms with vistas of the Press Halls.
During its six years of operation from 2017 with a temporary permit, Printworks held 300 concerts, 200 film productions, and various other events, such as a BBC Proms immersive opera performance.
Paul Clark, the head of real assets in Europe for AustralianSuper, stressed the significance of having a large and adaptable cultural space in the area. He expressed the desire to avoid a homogeneous office setting or a suburban community lacking diversity.
Last year, Printworks was recognized as the second-best music venue in the world in a study conducted by DJ Tech Reviews, surpassing Ushuaïa in Ibiza and Berghain in Berlin. It ranked just below Manchester’s Warehouse Project before it closed down.
According to Cariaga, the newspaper printing facility was constructed in a residential neighborhood and had to be carefully designed to prevent noise complaints from neighboring residents. This also resulted in good acoustics within the building.