Founded to help people affected by homelessness, mental health issues and learning difficulties to lead full lives within the community, Peter Bedford Housing Association commissioned Pedder & Scampton to look at the options for extending and remodelling the community hubs at two of their sites. The brief was to make these fully wheelchair accessible as well as improving the common spaces which provide key support, learning and social opportunities for their residents. Both hubs are located in semi basements creating problems of visibility as well as access.
We proposed simple modifications to the levels, limited remodelling and some small extensions which with strategically placed platform lifts allowed full wheelchair accessibility and created maximum impact with minimal expense and disruption.
One site overlooks a beautiful shared garden, one of London’s ‘hidden gems’, and we extended the proposals with a set of garden structures that link the hub more strongly with the garden and provide covered outdoor space for seating, practical activities and parties.
The residents using the second felt that the shared areas no longer met their needs. An important concern was to create spaces that could be used by a number of separate small groups at the same time and both the internal and external spaces were adjusted to allow this.
Alongside the design work, we made phasing proposals to allow the Housing Association to carry out each project in stages as funding became available.