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Planners approve Squire & Partners’ Brixton Windmill centre

02 brixton windmill education centre squire and partners 5mb
  • 1 Comment

Squire & Partners has received permission for a £360,000 education and community centre next to Brixton Windmill, a restored Grade II*-listed working mill in south London.

The 150m² building will provide a flexible space for school groups, adult education initiatives, community groups and local residents, and act as a visitor centre for the Friends of Windmill Gardens (FoWG), the charity that manages the windmill and hosts regular open days and festivals.

It will also facilitate the expansion of milling activities and the development of a social enterprise to sell Brixton Windmill flour to local bakeries, restaurants and shops, and to run baking workshops.

Squire & Partners says its design for clients Lambeth Council and FoWG responds to the site’s architectural history. The brick mill, built in 1816, is the last remaining tower mill in central London.

The new building will be a contemporary crafted, pitched roof structure using a Douglas Fir timber frame. The exterior will be clad in a dark weatherboard. The structure will be book-ended by two black brick gable walls, which reference the tar-sealed windmill tower.

The main internal space will feature the exposed timber frame and full-height sliding doors opening on to a decked terrace overlooking the park. Other facilities will include a grain store, a kitchen, administration space, cycle parking and toilets.

Work is expected to start on site in May and be completed by late summer.

Jean Kerrigan, chair of FoWG, said: ‘The new building will allow us to educate both young and adult visitors about this wonderful heritage building in the centre of Brixton.’

03 brixton windmill education centre squire and partners 5mb

03 brixton windmill education centre squire and partners 5mb

Project details: 

Location Brixton Windmill, Blenheim Gardens, London SW2
Type of project Education and community centre
Client Lambeth Council and Friends of Windmill Gardens
Architect Squire & Partners
Structural engineer Heyne Tillett Steel
M&E consultant Hoare Lea
Quantity surveyor Mace
Main contractor Not yet decided
Funding Lambeth Council
Tender date March 2017
Start on site date May 2017
Completion date October 2017
Contract duration 6 months
Gross internal floor area 150m²
Form of contract JCT Minor Works
Total cost £360,000

Brixton windmill education centre roof plan

Brixton windmill education centre roof plan

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • An excellent project - but, to respond to the site's architectural history, surely the external appearance of the new building is over pretentious - why the relatively elaborate detail of the 'bookend' gable wallheads when normal oversailing roof eaves would surely have been more in keeping with this type of building?
    Likewise, what's the roof eaves detail? - the image suggests that there might be concealed gutters - which would surely be inappropriate and grossly over elaborate and expensive for what, from the simple timber framed interior and external weatherboarding, is supposed to be in the tradition of plain sheds and barns.
    If this seems like nit-picking, isn't it important to respect the fact that it's the windmill that 'sets the scene', and shouldn't Lambeth Council and the Friends of Windmill Gardens be ensuring that the available finance isn't mis-spent?
    If the new building was in a grander setting - say, related to some more elaborately designed outbuildings to a stately house - then the detailing might be justified, but in the setting of this attractive, no-nonsense windmill?

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