arlier this month saw the opening of This Time Next Year, a super-stylish co-working space set over four floors on Ruckholt Road, less than five minutes walk from Leyton station.
Founder Ciara Lyons previously worked in media and creative advertising sales, for the likes of The Times, The Sunday Times and TripAdvisor. Her time at TripAdvisor provided the inspiration for TTNY. “It was the first time I’d worked in a culture where you worked autonomously – you weren’t tied to the same desk and you could see that people thrived. The interior was amazing, the main lobby was like airport arrivals, it was really cool.”
Alongside her day job Ciara was doing some property management when she came across the unit that was to become TTNY. “I could see that the way people were working was changing and that people who had been priced out of Hackney and Hackney Wick were moving to Leyton so I thought it was a great opportunity to create a space like this.”From the minute you arrive it’s clear you’re in a friendly, creative environment, from the colourful street art on the floor outside, the word ‘hi’ picked out in black tiles in the entrance and the enthusiastic greeting from miniature schnauzer Finn (“aka head of stress management”) who’s depicted in several artworks around the building.
Ciara worked with KWB on the fit out, which took 14 weeks. “We kept it quite industrial, concrete floors, exposed ceilings. It’s a bit raw, but the furniture – Eames chairs and perch stools – softens it. I wanted to keep it quite neutral and have the light as a main feature.”
The buzzy ground floor is for flexi-desking and is home to a communal café selling Ozone coffee and sandwiches from Wild Goose Bakery, while the first and second floors are for people who are after a more settled option or a self-contained office for teams of up to ten. The double-height top floor offers more office space, an area for events and epic views of the city.
Rowdy Studio were brought in to work on the branding and interiors elements such as the collaborations with local artists that cover windows and walls throughout the building. “I told them I wanted to work with local artists and that I wanted TTNY to be an artistic hub, they took the brief and ran with it.”The resulting collaborations pack a visual punch. East London illustrator Nick Wakeling painted the floor outside TTNY in his trademark colourful patterned style and covered the ground floor windows with a monochrome mural, which casts pretty shadows as the light changes.
Leyton signpainter Mia Warner designed the Roll Up Your Sleeves artwork on the first floor, as well as the café signage, and French-born, East London based artist Araki Koman created a hand-drawn mural for the second floor to represent the diversity of the area, as well as covering one wall of the top floor with London-themed line drawings.
Throughout the building there are kitchenettes stocked with tea and coffee complete with microwaves and zip taps for boiling and chilled water plus break out spaces, sound-proof booths and meeting rooms in various sizes and styles including one in painted in millennial pink. And if a traditional meeting room isn’t your thing there are hanging wicker egg chairs, Perspex bubble chairs and swings grouped together around the place.
While every floor in the building has a different vibe, overall the feeling is calm and conducive to getting shit done whether you’re writing a book or building an empire. “We are very flexible, and can really mould the space around your needs, desks and partitions move around, even the flooring can come up.” Meeting rooms can be booked independently and they’ll even make sure your conference call goes off without a hitch.The team will be on hand between 9 and 6, and the building will be open 8-8 for early birds and late workers. In the future Ciara plans to put on events, “We want to create a community around the building and plan to offer talks, film screenings and readings.”
When it came to the name, Ciara knew she wanted a slogan – “I love [bike workshop and café] Look Mum No Hands! in Shoreditch” – and that she didn’t want it to include the word work. “I was chatting with Rowdy before we started the name generation rounds and saying whatever you do, you’re always asking yourself where you’re going to be this time next year. They put it up on the board for the first session and straight away I was like, ‘That’s the name.’”
“It spoke to me personally, I was working for a big company but knew I wanted to work for myself and thinking where will I be in a year’s time if I take the leap, and here I am. That’s what I hope TTNY will provide for the people that come here, they’ll think this time next year I could be doing [whatever it is they want to do] and it will be amazing.”