Grassroots Community Centre
Grassroots Community Centre

The Community Resource Centre project was part of the government’s New Deal for Communities initiative, a wider strategic program to provide access to improved quality of life in a socio-economically challenging area of East London.

The objective of the design team at Eger Architects - led by Toni Yli-Suvanto - was to develop both environmentally and economically sustainable building, with a positive impact on social wellbeing and security for the Newham community as well as the wider neighbourhood. The project converts the Memorial Park located in the centre of the community from an unused physical and physiological barrier into an active and secure site of social cohesion.

The Resource Centre consists of much needed community functions mapped out during community consultation and involvement work, taken place before any design work: a healthy eating café, flexible multipurpose hall, a crèche for 20 children, a nursery, a health centre and other supportive community functions.

The building is designed to be an integral part of the park landscape with fully accessible green roofing, minimizing any environmental disturbance and offering views to the park activities. The rainwater is reused for irrigation and the facilities are cooled using passive night-time cooling and use of heat absorbing exposed concrete. Plenty of natural light is distributed to all active spaces, and green views can be enjoyed from all main functional areas.

The building was warmly welcomed by the community, and its positive social and environmental impact was recognised in London Planning Awards where it received the Best Built Project of the Year award.

Location:Newham, London, United Kingdom
Completion:2006
Gross Floor Area:1 100 m2
Architecture:Eger Architects Ltd
Toni Yli-Suvanto Design Team leader and Associate
Structural design:Arup
HVAC design:Arup
Photography:Toni Yli-Suvanto