Croydon YZ - Gareth Gardner

Croydon Youth Zone, London, UK 2016-2019

The client for the project is OnSide Youth Zones - a charity building a network of clubs providing young people with inspiring community buildings. The site is on the edge of a recreation ground with a number of mature trees. The trees have played an important role in the massing of the design with our aim to create a striking landmark that is also sensitive to the natural feel of the site.

The building is divided into two connected parts to reduce its scale: one to the north housing a performance space and one to the south housing the sports hall. Both have a mono-pitched roof positioned so that the building rises-up at the gaps between the trees giving it presence and views out. The facade uses board-on-board Siberian Larch cladding above a robust charcoal-grey brick base. A sheltered outdoor recreation area and kick-pitch have been located to the west of the building keeping them away from the busy road.

Inside, the plan is arranged around a central double-height hall that brings all the spaces together and provides a social place for everyone using the building to get together. The project incorporates passive design, PVs, wind-catchers and other methods to achieve a target of BREEAM Excellent. The building opened to the public in September 2019.

Photographs by Gareth Gardner.

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