Community Hall & Nursery Building in Tower Hamlets
YOU&ME and MAKESPACE have been appointed by Tower Hamlets Council to design a new community building at Waterloo Gardens, a plot of land at the corner of Waterloo Gardens and Sewardstone Road currently housing the Canal Club community Hall and Garden, Scallywags Nursery, playground and ball court (location here). Our design takes on board feedback from a series of community engagement events which we facilitated in 2019 to encourage dialogue and discuss possible future scenarios for the use of the site.
The mixed-use scheme includes re-provision of the existing community hall and nursery together with outdoor spaces including a ball court, community garden and children’s playground. The project is being delivered alongside 14 new affordable homes designed by ArchitectsDoingPlace and landscaping by BBUK. The project is currently in planning.
The new 150m2 nursery/community building is located prominently at the centre of the site, fronting onto Sewardstone Road and a new public space and route linking to Lark Row and Wellington Estate. The two storey building accommodates Scallywags nursery at ground with a community hall at first floor.
A brick skin with colourful punched openings wraps around three sides and peels off to become a private brick enclosure to the nursery garden and as brick seating niches within the ballcourt fencing. The south eastern elevation becomes more open with timber framed glazing allowing views in and out to the first floor community hall.
This change of materiality reduces the overall massing of the building and reads as a lightweight timber insert within a brick envelope. The building playful butterfly roof with PV panels takes cues from the existing hall on the site and provides a planted green space for the adjacent Wellington Estate to look out onto.
The design and layout of the new site includes:
• Re-providing a community hall building the same size as the existing to meet identified local need
• Creating safe outdoor playspace for the nursery and improving its connection to other outdoor spaces on the site
• Providing a ball court at existing location and a community garden
• Opening up views and visibilities across the site and the canal
• Improving public access to the canal
• Incorporating environmentally friendly and sustainable materials and a bio-diverse green roof
• Providing built form that is architecturally distinctive yet respectful
Learn more at the What's your Waterloo Gardens blog.