A popular West London boxing club destroyed in the Grenfell Fire is set to have a permanent new home as construction work begins on a replacement designed pro bono by Featherstone Young
Dale Youth Amateur Boxing Club, which has produced world-class boxers such as James DeGale and George Groves, was housed at the foot of Grenfell Tower for 17 years.
The club was made homeless in the blaze that killed 71 people last June. It later reopened in a makeshift facility in a nearby car park following a fundraising drive.
Now the club will have a new permanent home on a plot of land under the Westway flyover. The new facility is in two new buildings, providing a gym and a two-storey community centre.
The gym is being built by the BBC’s construction show, DIY SOS, in conjunction with the Westway Trust. Featherstone Young offered its skills to the project pro bono.
The practice’s designs for the boxing club include a mezzanine level with a boxing ring, training and gym area, plus changing rooms, showers and WCs.
Featherstone Young explained that the community centre – comprising two large halls and a kitchen – has been designed to the practice’s ‘baggy space’ concept, meaning it can be adapted according to the community’s needs.
Featherstone Young co-founder Jeremy Young said: ‘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.’
Other features of the boxing club include a translucent wall providing diffuse lighting to the street, and a series of glowing fibreglass tree sculptures that link to the green space of Maxilla Gardens beyond.
The practice joins other companies (including main contractor Galliard Homes), which have donated goods and services to the scheme to a value approaching £2 million.
Materials for the entire project – including fit-out – have also been donated and a crew of volunteers will help deliver the projects as part of the BBC’s DIY SOS Grenfell programmes. The build is being filmed and will be broadcast on BBC TV later this year. Work on the project is expected to be completed this summer.