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FIRST LOOK

Featherstone Young completes new base for Grenfell boxing club

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The practice undertook this scheme on a pro bono basis, designing a two-storey community building and one-storey boxing club linked by a ‘social street’

The scheme originated in the need to design new premises for the Dale Youth Amateur Boxing Club, whose previous home was destroyed in the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. In addition, it includes a new community space for local residents. 

The two buildings have been built on Bay 20, a plot under the A40 Westway flyover after which the facility has been named. This plot has lain empty and inaccessible for decades, and the brief for the project grew out of a detailed series of public consultation workshops. 

The boxing club had since 1999 been operating on the first floor of Grenfell Tower, and following the fire then operated from a car park. Widely recognised as an important resource for young people in the area, the club has produced world-class boxers – most recently Olympic gold medal winner James DeGale and world champion George Groves. The new single-storey building with a mezzanine accommodates a boxing ring, training and gym area, changing rooms, showers and WCs, with a toughened translucent glass wall facing on to the social street. 

Fya communitycentre brothertonlock 03

Fya communitycentre brothertonlock 03

The community centre was designed following Featherstone Young’s ’baggy space’ concept, effectively providing a loose space designed to support a range of activities. The two-storey building comprises two large halls supported by a range of smaller meeting spaces, a community kitchen, storage and WCs. The first floor is cantilevered approximately 2.5m over the park, with large windows that maximise natural light and views out. 

The project, for which the end-user is the Westway Trust, was delivered as part of the BBC’s The Big Build (formerly DIY SOS) Grenfell programme. This was broadcast in autumn 2018, with Featherstone Young joining many other construction professionals and companies (including main contractor Galliard Homes) in donating their services and goods pro bono – in all to a value approaching £2 million. Materials for the entire project – including fit-out – were also donated in-kind. 

Fya daleyouthboxing gym featherstoneyoung 2343

Fya daleyouthboxing gym featherstoneyoung 2343

Architect’s statement

This is a very unusual project in terms of procurement, but it demonstrates how a well-considered, complex building can be realised from inception to completion in only five months – and provide a valuable and permanent community resource for the future.

Jeremy Young, Featherstone Young

Client’s statement

The provision of our new world-class contemporary gym, designed by Featherstone Young and delivered through partnerships driven by Galliard Homes, has given us an exceptionally well-designed space on formerly vacant derelict land, providing the impetus and inspiration to shape the lives and improve the health and mental wellbeing of the local community, with a focus on young people from marginalised and socio-economically deprived backgrounds. The legacy will live on for decades.

Graham Gater, chairman, Dale Youth Boxing Club

Bay 20 ground floor plan

Bay 20 ground floor plan

Project data

Start on site April 2018
Completion September 2018
Gross internal floor area Boxing gym 280m2; community centre 320m2
Architect Featherstone Young
Executive architect
Client BBC and Westway Trust   
Structural engineer Conisbee
M&E consultant Hoare Lea
Main contractor Galliard Homes
Steel frame superstructure B&W Engineers
Ground works Modebest

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