the blackhorse workshop and specialist regeneration company U+I present SIDESHOW, a new installation that celebrates the maker culture of london, at the equipment works site near blackhorse road station. designed by ehk! architects, SIDESHOW takes its cue from theatre set design. a series of ‘theatre flats’ reminiscent of the industrial skyline of walthamstow create a backdrop for a modular stage upon which to display products, run educational workshops and hold events.

SIDESHOW has a dramatic presence along the street edge




at the rear of the site, a mobile building that started life as a ‘games hub’ traveling around festivals has been converted into a café in the day and a bar on selected evenings. acting as a combination of santa’s workshop and willy wonka’s chocolate factory, blackhorse workshop’s SIDESHOW is an industrial-themed marketplace that allows the community to experience the blackhorse workshop makers, the processes they use and the objects they produce. tactile and participatory, ehk! architects’ space aims to engage its visitors in craft and making, to experience the fun and creativity that form the ethos of the workshop project.

the project is a collaboration between u+i, the blackhorse workshop and ehk!



the installation opened at the end of august and will run until the end of december 2017. SIDESHOW will host a series of family-friendly exhibitions and invite visitors to get ‘hands on’ with a large interactive marble run, built from london bus components. this acknowledges the rich history and heritage of the site, which was originally the home of the associated equipment company factory, whose prototypes inspired the design of london’s iconic routemaster bus. the giant marble run, which incorporates over two hundred steel ball bearings, will weave its way around the site through disused bus parts, making a playful nod to its historical past.  

layers of ‘theatre-set’ panels create the space below



visitors operate a hand-turned archimedes screw, levers and wheels to alter the movement of the bearings and their sound as they rush down the pipes and chutes, providing the site with a unique soundtrack. blackhorse workshop was set up in 2014 with the ambition to support the creative industry and regeneration within the blackhorse road area, and has recently launched a new building, additional studios and dedicated education space. it has become a pioneer in the maker-space movement, encouraging similar projects around london. sideshow plans to continue this pursuit by celebrating the dynamic and growing maker community operating from the heart of this neighborhood.

the inside is a multifunctional community space

SIDESHOW will operate as a cafe by day and a bar on the weekends

families can engage with a giant mechanical marble run

the marble run weaves across the whole installation

parts of the installation have been designed around the marble run

the interactive space aims to regenerate the creative industry in the blackhorse road area

the bar area is an adapted gaming hub

the installation takes inspiration from the surrounding skyline


the installation is made up of a series of layers



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lindsay duddy | designboom

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