Remodelling and redesigning community buildings in Camden
The Camden Design Awards focus upon rewarding innovative and successful architectural and public space design within the London Borough of Camden. The Camden Community Designs section specifically looks at design projects which have remodelled or improved community buildings or have had a wider effect in reshaping and strengthening the local community which the buildings serve. Schemes shortlisted for this award often include buildings such as schools, churches or religious centres, community halls or centres, doctor's surgeries, leisure centres etc., which are at the centre of the community and whose ability to provide a service for members of the community has been enhanced by the design project.
The buildings shortlisted for this year's award are a varied bunch, including everything from a 'pirate castle' youth centre on the riverbank to a United Reformed Church and multi-faith centre in a public square. Lumen URC was an old 1960's United Reformed Church that desperately needed a revamp. The redesign involved not just creating a new church but also a brand new community and multi-faith centre connected to it, the centre contains community spaces, a sacred space and a community cafe. The church itself has been brought out of its 1960's concrete slumber thanks to the work of local artists who have implemented designs such as a full length North window, letting light flood in and out of the building and increasing the public feel to this now multipurpose community centre.
The 'Pirate Castle' youth club is situated in the middle of Camden on the Regent's Canal and has been providing water-based activities and training for the local youth community since 1977. Badly in need of a revamp and some extra space, the building was recently redesigned and extended, the additions including extra space for a larger hall, proper showers, lifts and direct canal access, all framed by a facade reminiscent of a medieval castle with mock balustrades, portcullis, slit-like windows and crenellations. The winner of the award will be announced soon.