Welcome to the London Architecture Diary, your essential guide to architecture exhibitions and events taking place across the city, brought to you by New London Architecture.
At a time when local authorities are reducing community service provision and public sector funding is contracting, what is the role of the community centre in 2016?
Historically these have been centres for service provision, community gatherings and activism. They have provided healthcare and educated those without access to traditional pathways. But are we as a society clear on what role we expect them to have in the future?
The community centre is the manifest object of a kind a collective idealism. A harking back to more sedate times, it conjures images of jumble sales and nativity plays. Despite the anachronisms, people are passionate about their local community centres and resist their demolition and closing. We have a human need to meet and associate, and often project these needs onto a particular building. The demands of the Carnegie library protestors are very much rooted in this philosophy of believing communities need a designated space to come together and be at once contained and supported.
But as London’s communities have grown and diversified, the buildings created to serve them need to do the same. While many new centres have opened across London in the last year, but how does an individual building reflect a diverse population? Indeed, does the process of defining a community in fact exclude as many people as it includes? Is it the role of the architect, owner or service provider to define whose needs are to be included?
Chaired by Amanda Baillieu, Founder, Archiboo and Editor-at-Large, BD Online
- Russell Curtis (RCKA)
- Steve Tompkins (Haworth Tompkins)
- Stephen Proctor (Proctor Matthews)
- Sarah Featherstone (Featherstone Young)
- David Jubb (Battersea Arts Centre)
Join us before the talk for drinks at G11, Oxo Tower Wharf (5 minute walk from Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre) to celebrate the opening of ‘Community Consequences’, a new exhibition of work by Projects Office as part of London Festival of Architecture 2016.
Further information about the exhibition can be found here.
Exhibition Opening from 5.30pm: ‘Community Consequences’ Projects Office
G11, Oxo Tower Wharf
London SE1 9PH