21.4.2014

The New Generation (TNG) Youth and Community Centre in Lewisham, London, UK

Showcasing innovative sustainable construction and high-quality design, The New Generation (TNG) Youth and Community Centre is a £3.5m newbuild venue designed by RCKa. It provides a range of vocational, leisure and support services for the young people of Lewisham, South London.

The state-of-the-art building includes a climbing wall, training kitchen and café, multi-use games area, recording studios, health clinic, dance and performance spaces, teaching and conference rooms and an IT suite. A dramatic central space resolves complex site levels and forms a vibrant heart to a building that engages and welcomes visitors, and is alive with activity and opportunity.

Constructed of cross-laminated wood, the building’s timber-panelled carcass is punctured through walls and ceiling with large dramatic openings to maximise natural daylight and frame long views through and out of the building. Externally, the building is clad in a lightweight, translucent polycarbonate rainscreen with a gently undulating profile. At street level where the building required a more robust finish, ultra-high performance pre-cast concrete panels cast from moulds of the profiled polycarbonate above, are hung from the building.

RCKa worked closely with Lewisham Council, its partners and the local community to realise the project. They identified the potential of the site for a significant facility and were instrumental in securing project funding. The practice’s aim was to create a positive place in which young people find inspiration, where they feel safe and secure, and in which they want to spend time.

Its success and popularity with young people in particular has far exceeded expectation. This is testament to the ambition of the London Borough of Lewisham and the approach of the design team, which placed users and the local community at the heart of the design, briefing and governance process.

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