North Harrow Community Centre
2009
London, United Kingdom

The 5000 mmixed use scheme won in competition is located in suburban North Harrow.
The two story award winning building accommodates a library, creative hub, prayer and exhibition space, kindergarten and conference facilities with a deep basement incorporating a sports hall.
Key to the aspirations of the client and the design brief is how groups of different ethnicity, ages and backgrounds come together and how the building might manifestly display this acting as an urban canvas for cross cultural encounters. 
The filigree and ornamentation on the building’s façade is related in part to Olbrich’s Vienna Secession Building and in part to our attempt to create a cultural building which has emerged from the British multi-cultural tradition for which we remain profoundly optimistic.

 

 

The structural system is concrete with 10m deep retaining walls at basement level which create the sports hall. The site layout is restricted by the culvert which mandates a 3m sterilization zone. The scheme also sits on a designated flood plain which severely restricts the ground floor plan.
It is anticipated that the scheme will achieve BREEAM very good using a mixture of renewables including ground source heat pumps embedded into piles and roof mounted PV cells.
The cladding is predominantly GRC concrete panels into which we have inlaid metallic patterns. Interior spaces are themed and based on locations and geographies from the clients past.

 

 

The café makes reference to coffered muquarnas patterning common in the East and the prayer space provides celestial light under metallic leaves which temper daylight.
The scheme has been presented at the recent London Festival of Literature and will also be featured in Dr Clare Dwyers upcoming book on Ethnburbia.