We were appointed by Holborn Community Association (HCA) for their new build multi-generational community centre. The brief required the demolition and rebuild of the existing community hall, but utilised as much of the existing structure as possible to reduce costs and minimise environmental impact.
Responding to the narrow site, the building’s frontage was opened up with a glass facade designed by artist Caragh Thuring which reveals the exposed, Mestec steel and blockwork structure within. Etched onto the surface of this facade is a work by Thuring called Great Things Lie Ahead, comprised of a brick mortar line pattern filled with fragments of text drawn from stories in HCA’s archives.
An area of the existing concrete ground slab was cut to insert an entrance ramp, and a new lift installation ensured all of floors were fully accessible. The project successfully delivered a welcoming ‘destination’ community centre complete with new sports hall and events space at basement level, improved changing room, toilet and catering facilities, meeting and teaching space and office accomodation.
Great Things Lie Ahead – Holborn House won both a RIBA London Regional Award 2023 and a RIBA National Award 2023.
The citation from the RIBA jury praised the project for being “a calm building which acts as a vessel to engage a community of different users – all of whom will be able to find delight in using it”.
Holborn Community Association