As part of the MSc Regional and Urban Planning GY454 course in 2019, students were required to propose in-depth, reuse interventions for the Old Highgate Station situated in the London Borough of Haringey. Below is the executive summary produced by student, Meera Kumar, for their proposal; the full Hivegate Cafe report is available here.
Maat, a consulting firm focused on property development through an ethical and environmental lens, is proud to present a vision for Hivegate Cafe, a sensitive reuse of Old Highgate Station, proposed as a response for Haringey Council’s redevelopment initiative. Hivegate Cafe is motivated by a number of factors: social need within the community, the vision outlined by the Highgate neighborhood plan, and a best-fit solution to the geographical constraints of the site. Hivegate Cafe is able to address these disparate concerns while increasing accessibility to the site and keeping financial overhead low.
The crux of the proposal relies on an open-air cafe that provides the community with affordable edible goods and a place for social mixing. The cafe will be run in partnership with the Harington Charity, a group that operates in Highgate to offer job training and apprenticeships to young adults with learning disabilities. Goods at the cafe will be subsidized through sales of locally-produced honey: the slopes surrounding the station will be used for beekeeping, benefiting both the cafe and the larger community, as honeybees are integral to the ecology of the greater London region. To further support diverse vegetation and urban nature, the proposal’s last leg entails opening two of the four tunnels that surround the site. In doing so, the site can be incorporated into the Parkland Walk, thereby benefiting pedestrians and
Hivegate Cafe has the potential to both transform the community’s relationship to a historic site while creating a place for social-mixing and social-good. This report illustrates the viability and potential impact of Hivegate Cafe and demonstrates how this redevelopment can reimagine and transform Old Highgate Station while prioritizing access and community involvement and incorporating sustainability and ecological principles.