Matthew Lloyd Architects has achieved planning permission for a new youth centre in Hackney, which will form the centrepiece of youth services provision in the area. The proposed building replaces an existing substandard single storey facility on the site and expands the range of services offered.
The new building gives the facility a fresh identity, instantly recognisable within the cityscape, but sitting comfortably within its surroundings. Extensive glazing is used on the ground floor maintaining an open and active relationship between the street and main common area within the building.
On its west side, the existing building line has been moved away from the road to line up with adjacent grade two listed Victorian church hall. This creates a larger pavement with space for bicycle storage new street trees. A new central courtyard allows for a degree of separation between the Youth Hub and the adjacent building.
The building comprises a main hall for a range of sports, dance, recreational and educational activities, an IT suite (possibly including music editing), a group room for smaller group activities, a ‘chill-out' space incorporating a kitchen, interview rooms for one-on-one sessions and external break-out spaces. 15 Youth Services staff will also be based in the building. The centre will also provide a base for the Youth Parliament and Youth Volunteering programmes.
The design has been developed in consultation with youth workers and young people from across the borough. The Forest Road Youth Hub is being delivered as the focus of a series of youth projects around the borough, based on a hub and spokes model. These projects are being procured by The Learning Trust on behalf of Hackney Youth Services, and are the result of a successful bid to the government Myplace funding programme. Hackney Youth Services will operate the completed facility.