The Custard Factory
In the café, these colour combinations coincide with the original designs of the demolished Architects’ Department, known as the ‘Custard Factory’, where all the furniture and furnishings were yellow, while the beams and columns were red.
Upstairs, the Sky Room curtain takes the natural colours from the Habitat chart to conceal the real landscape beyond with an abstract version, from muddy browns through grassy greens to sky blues. The extraordinary view itself reveals the vision of first chief architect for MK, Derek Walker, to create ‘a city greener than the surrounding countryside’.
Adorning the façade of the pre-existing building are signs relating to the city’s early graphic identity, by designers Minale Tattersfield, including the first ever logotype for the city; the Corporation’s first logo, a double-headed axe; and a red heart that symbolised the city centre.
The designs surrounding the building, including the planting schemes, play equipment and street furniture relate to the MK Infrastructure Pack, which provided blueprints for all the city’s design. Positioned by the entrance to the play area outside the Studio is a restored pair of original gates in the shape of hands. Rescued and re-sited, it extends a welcoming hand to a project that celebrates the playful, creative and ambitious vision of Milton Keynes.