- Country:United Kingdom
Text description provided by the architects. The new two-storey, 410m2 building caters for around 100 young adults and houses two multi-purpose halls, music room and recording studio, café, a series of activity pods and break-out spaces as well as an outside recreation space. The £860,000 project is used by 11-19 year olds during weekday afternoons and evenings and is available to the wider community during the daytime and weekends.
The Point is a project for the community and by the community. The young people of Tadley worked in collaboration with the architects to create ideas and develop the design through a series of workshops and consultations events. Their ideas and aspirations were supported and brought to life through the town’s residents who voted to have an uplift on their own council tax charge to help fund the project – for every £1 contributed by Tadley council taxpayers, the Tadley District and Community Association secured an additional £2.88 in grants or donations towards the project.
Situated on a vacant parcel of land to the rear of the existing 1980s Community Centre, The Point is modern and playful, complementing the scale of the surrounding buildings. The L-shaped configuration and striking roof form create an entrance courtyard space against the existing building, while the eaves to the rear is kept low to avoid overbearing to neighbouring properties.
Dark grey fibre cement cladding acts as the skin of the building, wrapping around the roof and walls to create a seamless mass into which windows and openings are punched. These breaks in the form introduce warmer timber tones through timber veneered rainscreen cladding which in turn reveal the internal spaces beyond. Inside, walls and ceilings use birch faced plywood while the exposed roof structure is made of glued laminated timber and plywood panels. The timber-framed wall panels and floor cassettes were prefabricated offsite for improved quality control and to speed up the construction time.
A generous entrance space opens onto a floated concrete floor that complements the tones of timber while providing a hardwearing surface that will stand the test of time. The building plan is based around a flexible ‘spine wall’ of storage and activity pods. These pods are conceived as ‘secret spaces’ situated throughout the building. At ground floor a café/kitchen space and large multipurpose hall form the main spaces while the upper level houses a fully equipped music room and recording studio, breakout spaces, meeting room and another multipurpose hall.
Outside, a generous recreation area provides activity spaces for both the existing Community Centre and The Point while a new pedestrian walkway and raised sculptural seating emphasise the main entrance.
‘We worked closely with the young people of Tadley to develop a sculptural design that is a landmark building for them and the wider community. But more than that it’s somewhere they can truly call their own.
The roof, with its dark folded ‘cloak’ appearance, gives the building a contemporary edge while internally a series of uplifting spaces create an environment the young people want to use everyday.’ - David Ayre, Director, Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt
‘Since we started working with Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt on the initial Feasibility Study, they have demonstrated a complete understanding of our original brief that The Point should have a distinctive identity of its own - influenced by the youngsters themselves. What has been delivered is a wonderful interpretation of those ideas.’ - Adrian Noad, Chairman, Tadley & District Community Association