Collaborative Design

The Granville

Since May 2016, RCKa has worked in partnership with a diverse range of project partners and local people to bring this treasured community asset back into full use.

1:1 drawing of the proposed studio staircase

The project is founded in the relationships between its multifarious stakeholders as much as in any orthodox architectural ambitions. Funded through the GLA’s London Regeneration Fund and housed in a 19th century church hall owned by Brent Council, the new project incorporates existing uses ranging from a childrens’ centre to community kitchen, and provides affordable workspace for local entrepreneurs. The Granville is truly an ambitious example of mixed-use, community-led regeneration.

This open space encourages entrepreneurs to be aware of their neighbours, fostering creative collaboration and a communal environment.

RCKa was intimately involved from the outset. We helped set-out a commercially viable long-term vision for the project which enabled capital funding to be secured and a new future for the building to be realised. Alongside the key project stakeholders, through day-visits to exemplar projects, online and in person at public consultation events and one-to-one workshops, we developed a design for the refurbishment of the space which carefully mediated between the various users while looking for opportunities to improve community cohesion and encourage social interaction.

Community consultation board

Two key strategic moves open the building up to the community and bring the interior spaces back to life. A new brightly-coloured public entrance encourages use of the existing gardens and delivers visitors into the heart of the building while resolving complex access issues. Minimising circulation and targeting flexibility allowed us to create an open and welcoming public ‘living room’ complete with community café where previously there had been only cellular rooms.

The building culminates in the original church hall, a wonderful double height space with slender timber columns and generous windows which flood the interior with natural daylight. Here we created the enterprise hub, a new home for the much-loved, but now run down, South Kilburn Studios. Working with a tight budget we focused on openness and flexibility. Using a palette of low-cost materials we created a series of open studios arranged around a bright blue staircase which linked the two floors of the workspace and further accentuated the height of the hall. The intention was to create a triple height market hall, where on arrival you would be able to look out across the two floors and see all the activity going on in the individual studios.

Client: London Borough of Brent

Key Stakeholder: South Kilburn Trust

Capital Funding: GLA London Regeneration Fund

Construction Value: £650,000

Completion: Spring 2018

Location: South Kilburn, Brent

Graphic Design: Europa