After our successful Crowdfund London campaign in 2020, Roman Road Trust has begun the amazing journey of transforming The Common Room – and we want you to continue to be a part of the journey.
Over the next few months, we will keep all our backers, supporters, and followers up-to-date on the progress of the build so you can celebrate each and every milestone with us.
To do this, we have created this page to regularly post our achievements, milestones, and updates on the progress of the build.
Our plan is to keep you up-to-date on all elements of the project. This will range from operational landmarks such as signing contracts and creating hiring agreements, to physical milestones like putting up walls and installing electricity. As with any build, it might be a long and sometimes challenging process, but what we do know is building The Common Room will certainly be a labour of love.
Check back here for monthly updates and insights into the build of The Common Room. You can also follow us on socials for behind the scenes snippets..!
UKPN fit the electrical wires to The Common Room, the outside walls are prepared to be able to hold tiles for the facade and Roman Road Trust board members paint the fence of the facade!
The first fix of the electrics are completed by our brilliant volunteer Acacio Oliveria from Casa Construction. Kitchen cabinets are kindly donated by Formation Design & Build. We held our tile making workshop where local residents created tiles that will be used on the facade.
Site visits by UKPN are completed and a location for our electricity box is agreed. We find a volunteer electrician to assist with the first fix of electrics. Our Managing Director, Rosie, tests out the bin store!
The build continues. Front doors are fitted, the cladding is completed and (pink!) plasterboard is added.
The build begins! The Common Room flatpack is delivered to site on 14th February (just in time for Valentine’s) and the structure is built. Within three weeks, the walls and roof are completed, windows are put in and work on the porch begins.
Contracts with builders are finalised and signed. Delivery of materials and site preparation begins. UKPN visit the site to arrange electric connection.
Preparations and legalities for the build to begin continue.
October – November 2022
The Common Room receives its very own postal address (5 Ford Road, London, E3 5NS) meaning we can now activate our utilities such as water. Search ‘The Common Room Roman Road’ in Google Maps.
Please do not send us any post as we do not have a letter box just yet!
Frank Kibble (left) from Spacehive and Awo Ahmed (right) from Tower Hamlets Council pay a visit to the site to see our progress for themselves!
July – August 2022
Our groundworkers coat the concrete slab with a special sealant to protect the surface from damage and corrosion and to reduce the absorption of water. The foundation is now ready to be built upon!
Roman Road Trust awaits formal postal address for The Common Room. We arrange for our groundworker to seal the screed layer of the foundation.
Thames Water complete the water connection to The Common Room (the blue pipe is the water!) GLA visit the site to take photos of the construction so far.
Thames Water confirm their upcoming visit to make the water connection for The Common Room. The lamppost is removed by Wiggett Group thanks to Clarion Housing.
The concrete is poured and the concrete slab is complete! Our building control officer visits the site and approves the construction so far. Roman Road Trust applies to Tower Hamlets Council for an official postal address for The Common Room.
Construction begins! Groundworkers prepare for services to be installed and the foundation is laid for The Common Room building. Roman Road Trust organise the removal of the lamppost.
Tower Hamlets Council approves the new planning application for The Common Room. Roman Road Trust and Public Works prepare for ground-workers to begin in mid-February.
Roman Road Trust is required to submit a new planning application to Tower Hamlets Council for The Common Room. This is due to important revisions in the design to make sure the space is as good as it can be for the community.
Clarion Housing arrange for Wates Group to demolish the old structure. Any re-usable timber is donated to local community projects such as the Roman Road Adventure Playground and Abbey Gardens.
Roman Road Trust and Public Works deliver Neighbourhood Curriculum Workshops where local people explore how their skills, knowledge and experience can be shared in The Common Room. The demolition of the old version of The Common Room is arranged.
June – September 2021
Due to the unforeseen challenges facing the construction industry, Roman Road Trust raises additional funds to ensure the Transformation of The Common Room can happen. We speak to local residents at our market stall on Roman Road to update them on the progress of the build and invite them to our upcoming Neighbourhood Curriculum Workshops.
Roman Road Trust and Chisenhale Dance Space confirm details of The Common Room’s activities as part of Encounter Bow 2021. Roman Road Trust plans for re-start of in-person taster sessions and market stalls to begin in summer as part of our Developing the Programme project with Foundation for Future London. Selected local organisations share their views on The Common Room facade.
Clarion Housing and Roman Road Trust work towards finalising lease documents and other legal processes. Roman Road Trust and Public Works meet with Wates to confirm their in-kind support for The Common Room. Roman Road Trust meets with Chisenhale Dance Space to begin planning an activity to be a part of Encounter Bow 2021.
Roman Road Trust and Clarion Housing meet to discuss lease. Roman Road Trust begins planning taster workshops and market stalls to restart in Summer 2021 as part of our Developing the Programme project. PC Projects collaborate with Old Ford Primary School’s Artist in Residence to run workshops for pupils to design stamps for the facade. PC Projects begin stamp tests to see how the designs will work on the tiled facade.
Facade Workshops held online for local residents and organisations to help shape the design of the facade for The Common Room. Roman Road Trust and Public Works prepare submission of facade design to LBTH for approval. Application for water connection is completed. Electricity meter and connection point is installed by Wates. Clarion Housing (landowner) provides first draft of lease document for review.
Roman Road Trust clears the shed at The Common Room to allow contractor to complete second trial pit on right-hand side. Public Works presents detailed designs to Roman Road Trust. We meet with ceramicists Simeon Featherstone and Anastasia Sledkova from PC Projects to plan the creation of the tiled facade in collaboration with our community.
Roman Road Trust and Public Works hold second consultation stall on Roman Road Market. We investigate the proximity of public sewers to the site. Roman Road Trust signs engineer contract with CH Simple Design and engineer visits the site. Public Works begin their next stage of detailed designs. Our contractor (Office for Crafted Architecture) completes first trial pit and discovers solid foundations on left-hand side.
Building Control Officer is appointed. Roman Road Trust signs architectural contract with Public Works. First draft of Hiring Agreement for community users is completed. Clarion and Wates confirm in-kind support towards the build of The Common Room.
Engineer is appointed. Roman Road Trust and Public Works hold first consultation stall on Roman Road Market. We investigate ownership of a lamppost that is situated within The Common Room site and organise it to be removed. We share first draft of operational documents and agreements with Clarion Housing. Public Works submits an Arts Council England Application to design the facade of The Common Room with local artists and residents (decision pending).
Roman Road Trust increases conversations with Clarion Housing (landowner) to begin the process of securing lease/asset transfer. We secure funding from LBTH Small Grants Fund for project management of the build. Roman Road Trust meets with panel of local Place Experts.
Regular project meetings begin with Roman Road Trust, Public Works (architects), and Office for Crafted Architecture (contractor). We attend consultancy advice session with Mayor’s Design Advocates (GLA.)
Roman Road Trust secures funding from Foundation for Future London for Developing the Programme for The Common Room. Market research for The Common Room commences. We begin forming our first draft of the business plan.
Pledges counted and collected. Roman Road Trust is assigned a Regeneration Officer from Greater London Authority (GLA) and we sign our contract with GLA.
Crowdfund campaign reaches target and closes with £7,000 of overfunding.
Crowdfund London campaign launches.