PCKO Architects has won planning for a new community centre in north London
The Greenwood Place scheme in Kentish Town will provide support for people with dementia, learning disabilities, mental health problems and autism.
The three-storey 3,200m² centre will contain a café, meeting rooms, studios and flexible spaces which can be used by community groups.
Paul Webb, director at PCKO said: ‘With Camden council, we entered into an in-depth consultation and engagement with healthcare professionals, carers and user groups to ensure we delivered a design that would fully meet the needs of all the users involved.
‘The result of this hugely rewarding conversation is a building that sets a new benchmark for accessible design, significantly improving on current standards and regulations.’
PCKO was also granted planning permission for the redevelopment of the existing community centre’s site on Highgate Road. This scheme includes eight supported living apartments and 34 flats. Proceeds from the sale of the flats will be used to offset the cost of building the community centre.
The combined budget for both schemes is almost £17 million.
The project is expected to complete in 2015.
The architect’s view
‘The design vision is for a space that promotes well-being, a good quality of life and independence, in a safe and secure environment, that is easily accessible for all.
‘The centre will also host Camden’s first ever centre for independent living (CIL) which will give people with disabilities a centre for advice, guidance and support, with the latest equipment and technology to help people live more independently.. The Greenwood Place project is part of Camden Council’s Community Investment Programme (CIP) – the authority’s 15 year plan to improve services and facilities across the borough.
‘PCKO Architects and Camden Council engaged in an extensive and innovative public consultation to determine how the building can meet the needs of a number of diverse user groups with complex needs, working closely with groups representing persons with cognitive and sensory impairments, physical disabilities, persons living with dementia and persons with mental health issues to arrive at an inclusive and accessible design. During the process, PCKO and Camden Council developed a variety of techniques to communicate complex concepts of building design using simultaneous speech to text interpretation, signing, use of tactile maps and models and use of carefully designed ‘easy read’ format presentations.’