The £1 million refurb has stripped away incremental alterations to the 1950s building and restored its original colour scheme
Located at the heart of the Golden Lane estate in central London, the Grade II-listed community centre designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon had become outdated and been subject to numerous changes. Studio Partington was commissioned by the City of London Corporation to restore and update the facility to better cater for the various community groups who use it.
Studio Partington sought to restore the original design, making modest alterations to the interior layout while improving the existing fabric of the building, providing flexible spaces and a ’sustainable legacy’. To improve its environmental performance, the roof has been reinsulated and the timber curtain walling replaced with double glazing.
Key design features that have been lost over the years have been reinstated: the tiled floor within the main entrance has been reproduced, much of the original colour scheme has been restored and where possible the concrete structure has been exposed, with steps taken to reduce the impact of new partition walls on the existing brick and timber curtain wall façade.
The main entrance has been opened up with a double-height lantern, which alongside a new community office and reception desk has created a large, bright congregational space. A kitchen servicing the main hall has been reinstated and relocated to link to the entrance lobby through a hatched serving window.
In the main hall, a redundant raised stage has been replaced with educational spaces, provided with the City of London’s Adult Skills and Education Services in mind. Lower-level divisions were reinstated, with flexibility provided by sound-insulated moveable panels and pocket doors that allow multiple activities to take place at once. A quieter seating area and music rehearsal room have views out towards the pond and sunken garden.
Changes to the building’s internal layout have increased circulation space throughout and enabled the provision of disabled toilets on both floors. A new passenger lift now provides access to the lower ground floor, previously only accessible via stairs.