Highgate Newtown Community Centre

In 2014 RCKa was appointed to help Camden Council investigate ways in which the long-term future of Highgate Newtown Community Centre could be secured through potential development of the site. We were selected through a competitive process based on our experience of public engagement and track record of achieving planning permission for innovative housing and community projects on challenging urban sites.

The HNCC development is an exemplar project for how Councils can use the building of new homes to fund vital community resources. This is the first Borough scheme we are aware of that has taken a cost-neutral approach to the provision of public buildings at this scale and complexity. As a result of the ongoing success of this scheme we have now been appointed to undertake similar exercises for other Boroughs around London.

Viability has been at the heart of our work since the outset. As this project is subject to extraordinary levels of scrutiny, every design decision has been interrogated to ensure viability is not compromised. At every step we had to balance delivering an acceptable scale of development, with sales values and construction costs, including an extra allowance to cover all associated project costs, to a level of quality befitting the exceptionally rich conservation area in the heart of which it is located.

We have gone on to complete similar projects with other councils – see links below.

Client organisation: Camden Council
Construction Value: £16.5m
Completion: 2020
Location: Highgate, London
Project start date: March 2014
Project end date: Ongoing
Illustrations by: RCKa and Darcstudio