A history of Printworks, one of London’s most iconic places
For any electronics fan, Printing is one of the holy grails of concert halls around the world. If you have made the pilgrimage to the place in South London, you will know that the magic of this place cannot be touched by anything else, it is truly unmatched.
Last month, news broke that Printworks would close permanently, as an architectural firm HawkinsBrown has officially been given the green light to turn the space into offices, despite numerous online petitions to prevent this from happening. With this sad news that we will finally have to say goodbye to this forever beloved place, it’s the perfect time to look back on the history and powerful legacy of Printworks.
Of course, this Canada Water industrial space hasn’t always been the booming epicenter of the electronic events we know it for. Only opened in 2017, by many standards it is still a relatively new venue compared to its competitors, it has an interesting and unique history encapsulated within its walls. Before being transformed into the party headquarters we know today, it was used as a huge printing press – the largest in Western Europe – until 2012, which produced leading newspapers such as the evening standard, Subway and The telegraph to name a few, hence the name Printworks being a nod to its rich history.
From 2012 until Printworks opened in 2017, the space was virtually unused. Seeing an opportunity to bring a unique venue to the UK’s capital in a space unlike anything that had ever existed before, event management company Broadwick Live transformed an unused space into a vibrant hub of musical culture and a safe space where people can freely express themselves. Keeping the industrial charm of the space was important, and so the original aesthetic (exposed beams, brick walls, giant machines and printing presses) was left as is, instead, stages, bars and everything else was built around all of those things instead of tearing each other apart. them down. The 16 Acres The building was described before its opening as being an “experimental and versatile cultural destination” and much hype was done in the weeks leading up to its official 10-week opening in February 2017. Nearly 10 years in the search for spaces for build a place, none has attracted as much attention as this space.