Located in South Kilburn, The Granville is an is an example of community-led regeneration – a two-year long partnership between a diverse range of project partners and local people determined to bring this treasured asset back into full use.
The project was conceived by current operators, the South Kilburn Trust (SKT) and funded through the GLA’s London Regeneration Fund, while the 19th century church hall it occupies is owned by Brent Council. The Granville offers affordable workspace to local entrepreneurs, community events space and space for SKT’s charitable services such as employment training.
RCKa interrogated the brief and feasibility documents to define a commercially viable long-term vision for the project which enabled capital funding to be secured. We led public consultation events, drawing and model workshops and one-to-one workshops to facilitate a collaborative design process that directly fed into our understanding of the aspirations of potential end users.
“London’s infrastructure is facing significant pressures. This has an impact on community cohesion, quality of life and entrepreneurship. The Granville is a great example of a place responding to these pressures in an innovative manner, by bringing different users together and providing both community infrastructure and affordable workspace. Thoughtful high-quality design and community engagement has resulted in bringing a much-loved building back to life and making it accessible and fit for all Londoners.”Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor, Planning, Regeneration & Skills
Two strategic moves open the building and formerly hidden garden to the local community. A brightly coloured entrance sequence brings visitors directly into the heart of the building while resolving complex access issues and making the green space much more visible. Secondly, the creation of a welcoming public ‘living room’, complete with community café, rationalises circulation, increases flexibility and encourages chance encounters and informal conversations.
Working with a tight budget we focused on creating a feeling of openness and flexibility, while retaining original character features. 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 original church hall. The triple height market hall acts as a focal point for the enterprise hub. The open space is bathed in light and feels vibrant with all the activity of the individual studios on show.
“The potential of the studios is in the ability of someone to come in and transform the space, to make it their own. It really separates The Granville from almost anything else out there.”Julian Hall, ‘The Ultrapreneur’ & SKT Business Advisor
London Borough of Brent
South Kilburn Trust
Architect of the Year Awards 2020
New London Awards Community Prize 2019
Jakob Spriestersbach & Kit Oates