The TNG Youth and Community Centre opened its doors to the public in 2013, aiming to provide valuable support to young people in Lewisham. Central to the project’s vision was the creation of a flexible space which could evolve over time, adapting to the needs of its occupants. Ten years on, RCKa are delighted to receive Architecture Today’s Test of Time Award for this project.
The process of developing TNG was made possible through meaningful engagement and RCKa worked closely with the local community to ensure that the building responded to the needs of its users. Involving young people in each stage of the design process also empowered them to communicate and voice their concerns whilst gaining valuable skills in negotiation and networking. The result of this collaboration is a 3-storey centre containing functional spaces such as a health clinic and training kitchen, paired with flexible areas which enhance the utility of the building. The building’s design reflects a commitment to both economic efficiency and environmental sustainability, making it a valuable and eco-friendly community asset.
It is wonderful to have RCKa’s participatory approach to architecture and design recognised and to celebrate the project’s continued social impact with some of those we worked so closely with to co-design the building. Since 2017, the centre has been taken over by Youth First and has seen over 1,700 young people across 13 different London boroughs regularly use the space. TNG continues to provide invaluable and accessible services to the local community, from arts fairs and youth groups to mum and baby salsa lessons.