Built by Creatives for Creatives: the Making of Gather Round
Our mission has always been about creating the best environments for creatives to thrive. We wanted to create coworking spaces that pay homage to the character of the buildings they inhabit and give them a new lease of life. Here at Gather Round, we hold functionality and beauty in equal regard and our two spaces at Cigar Factory and Brunswick Square embody that. We purposefully chose buildings with rich history; the industrial past of Cigar Factory and the cultural past of Brunswick Square shines through and brings soul to each of the spaces.
Built By Creatives
As creatives ourselves, we understand the importance of a well-curated, inspiring workspace. The idea for Gather Round itself stemmed from the many years we spent moving from workspace to workspace, discovering they were largely ill-equipped for what we required as a creative agency. So when it came to setting up Gather Round, we wanted to create a space that felt as comfortable as home, yet inspired all those that passed through it. We set out to avoid cookie-cutter workspaces that are carbon copies of one another; our members are individuals so our spaces should be too.
The Making of Cigar Factory
The search for the right building took nearly 2 years. But the first time we saw the Cigar Factory we knew it was perfect: located in a city full of creatives, this beautiful and distinctive red brick building once held a community at its core. The Cigar Factory, named for its industrial past, was one of many factories within BS3 to house a growing industry post World War 2. Its brother, the Tobacco Factory, used to be accessed by a walkway towering over the road below.
Inside the red brick and utilities are left exposed but the space is softened via dark hues, wooden detailing, low-level lighting, and mismatched upholstery. The large open room is carved out into different areas, so that the space feels welcoming and inviting. Despite all being on one level, Cigar Factory is dotted with cosier areas and nooks – perfect for head-down time, or huddling together over an idea. For those that work best with a subtle hum of background noise, the sun-lit desks towards the back workspaces are perfect.
Cigar Factory Suppliers
Working with local and sustainable suppliers was always going to be high on our to-do list. One of our favourite spots in our Southville home is the Sun Room. Local artist Katie Pieczenko designed a bespoke Gather Round wallpaper that brings splashes of colour and is a nod to our botanical theme. Hand-selected furniture throughout the space – including pieces from our friends at Lowlands – helps to inject character, whilst Tala lighting helps to visually define areas.
The Making of Brunswick Square
At Brunswick Square, we wanted to honour the cultural heritage of the building and the dynamic area of St Pauls. We have honoured the Grade || listed building by retaining a host of its original features and allowing space for them to breathe. Georgian features abound throughout and the large sash windows flood light into the lounge areas. In contrast to the one level feel of Cigar Factory, Brunswick Square boasts private studios, Resi-desk members, flexible working and event space spanning four spacious floors.
It has been a joy to renovate these buildings and use their history as an inspiration for our future.
For those looking to relax the swyft diesel blue velvet sofa beckons; wrapping around the corner of the reception room creating a home-from-home feeling. Lamps, colourful cushions and piles of books and magazines bring a sense of personality and members gather here to talk through projects or chat over a coffee. And by the way the books aren’t just for show – reading materials are there for members to enjoy, share and hopefully add to. The kitchen hosts two tables fit for feasts that stretch the length of the room. The perfect spot for our monthly members meetings, post-work drinks and shared lunches.
Brunswick Square Suppliers
An eclectic mix of styles, high ceilings and light-filled rooms create a contemporary feel whilst giving a gentle nod to the arts & crafts period. Local suppliers and experts were brought in throughout the build; one of our favourite pieces from local artist Judi Archer hangs above the sofa in the most prominent spot bringing colour and texture. The green-fingered Yeo Plant Design also carefully helped us adorn the space with big and bold plants.
Community of Creatives
It has been a joy to renovate these buildings and use their history as an inspiration for our future. Our community of creatives has always been at the forefront of our minds and we grow with the people that use our spaces. Listening and understanding their needs is crucial to the longevity and success of our spaces, as well as the success of our members’ endeavours. So as the needs of our members change over time, as will we. We are all a work in progress, after all.