As I was walking down the streets of Bristol I was an interesting building with a painting of dancing Jesus on the side with some other pictures covered the entrance. Just outside front door was a big sign “Hamilton House” and underneath was a girl selling flowers and as you walked inside on the left you could go to a café/pub place and on your right was a room which appeared to be some sort of art gallery. Marius told me that this place was created for all sorts of artists starting from painters, designers, writers, dancers, even actors. Not thinking twice I asked at the reception if I could talked to someone in charge. I was offered a tour around the building with one of the project founder. I was introduced to Jamie Pike. He told me that the Hamilton House was neglected block of old office for years and in 2008 the owner decided to get together with a group of friends and create something creative for the community. The idea was to set up a place where the community could grow, share, collaborate, and learn what it is to live in coexistence with each other. They start of setting available spaces where self-employed artists and visionaries could get together and set up their businesses. It all started on a low budget and one space/room available at the time but slowly it turned into something big and amazing. Currently they host over 200 tenants. You can meet there painters, designers, illustrators, textile designers, environmental groups, charities, music agencies, festival organisers, radio stations, animators, film and music producers, community groups, social enterprises, upholsterers, weavers, costumiers, record labels, dance groups, alternative therapists, career advisors, consultants, architects, fashion and accessory designers, street artists, writers, puppeteers, jewelers, photographers, clown troupes and all sorts of food, arts and health activists. Each group/company/organisation/person has allocated place in the building. The Idea was to set a structure of the house in the image of a human body. At the bottom you have car park and bike project as a resemblance of legs as you move higher you have the canteen and community kitchen which supposed to be stomach of the building. The heart is all artistic departments and in the head of the building you have offices, meeting rooms as well as therapy rooms. On the roof you have garden as hairy part of the building.
It is an amazing place, which have extraordinary impact on the community and the city. The idea of turning an old grey building into something so creative opens many doors to move city into brighter and more colourful future.
pictures I took during a visit to Hamilton House
Jamie Pike – one of the founders of the “Hamilton House”
http://www.thebristolbikeproject.org/ the Bike Project