Located on Westferry Road, The Forge was built in 1860 for CJ Mare & Company (engineers and shipbuilders). It is one of the last buildings from the golden age of shipbuilding on the Isle of Dogs. At the time of Brunel’s famous paddle steamer, The Forge – part of a 5,000-strong workforce – built the keel for HMS Northumberland; one of the earliest ironclad battleships.
Built of robust, Flemish bond brick, The Forge then had a varied history. After becoming a workshop for Joseph Westwood & Co (structural engineers and bridgebuilders) in 1889, the vast building went into decline. At one point, there was even a risk of demolition.
2003 saw The Forge gain Grade II listing and most recently, Craft Central approached Emrys Architects with a brief to create a collection of studio spaces, creative workspaces and a gallery for exhibitions.