New homes to fund redevelopment of Highgate Newton Community Centre
- Credit: RCKa
Planning approval has been granted for the scheme, which will use funds raised from the sale of new homes to redevelop community facilities.
Riba award-winning architects RCKa have received planning approval for the 3,000 sq mt site within the Dartmouth Park Conservation Area, after two years of extensive stakeholder and community consultation.
James Robin, chair of the trustees of Highgate Newtown Community Centre, said:
“The trustees strongly support the development. In a time when funding for third sector projects is under significant pressure, we welcome the Council’s proposal to invest significantly in our community provision.”
The scheme has been commissioned by Camden Council as part of their Community Investment Programme.
At a committee meeting on Thursday April 2017, Cllr Oliver Lewis and Cllr Sally Grimson, said:
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“We believe this is a very good and well-designed scheme to provide a fit-for-purpose community centre. The new building will enable the centre to continue to provide free services for our community and meet the needs of the deprived residents of Highgate Newtown well into the future.”
The existing 1950s single and two or three storey buildings are due to be demolished and replaced with taller buildings.
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The proposed building heights were lowered in response to comments from the local community, and have been designed to be in keeping with the surrounding terraces and mansion blocks.
The Mission Hall on Winscombe Street will be kept and converted into two new houses.
The profit from the sales will go towards transforming the current closed cul-de-sac layout into an open public courtyard, with residents sharing communal spaces with HNCC and FYA users.
The new community facilities will include a main hall, café, ceramics studio, art room, woodwork studio, roof garden, community forum space and office space for physiotherapy and psychology sessions, arranged as a series of interconnected, flexible spaces.
The HNCC and FYA will have separate entrances but be connected through a shared ground floor hall and a first floor garden terrace.
RCKa designed the site around the concept of a carved tree trunk, with the outer edges to be covered in rough mottled grey brickwork to mimic the bark of a tree, whilst the interior elevations and recessed details will be realised in red patterned brickwork.
Arched windows, window boxes and covered walkways will echo the existing local architecture, highlighted by the soft metallic and gold window linings and balustrades.
Formed in 2008 by Tim Riley, Russell Curtis and Dieter Kleiner, RCKa is a practice with a focus on community projects and socially responsive architecture.
Dieter Kleiner, director of RCKa, said:
“We’re thrilled to have helped Camden, HNCC and local people secure planning approval for such an important and transformative proposal to provide community services on this site for many years to come. RCKa is committed to realising a vibrant new piece of London that local people can be proud of.”