Completed: Winter 2015
Location: Gamlingay, South Cambridgeshire.
The remodelled Eco Hub is an exemplary sustainable community building providing the sort of facilities small communities aspire to, including a library, a large hall for sport and functions, a youth wing, a kitchen, a café servery, changing rooms, a new dance studio and a Parish Council office. The extension completes the original vision for the project by not only increasing the useable space within the building but by providing an external landscape that hugely extends the way in which the community centre can be used by the diverse local community.
The repair and adaptive reuse of the old building expands the original floor area by 70% and renders the original brick shoebox of a building all but unrecognisable. The substantial part of the old structure that has been retained has been insulated externally and faced in rain-screen cladding, as have the new works. The whole therefore reads as a single conglomerate of a distinctly barn-like scale and character.
From a standing start, having never been involved in the design process before, a loose association of residents got themselves together as a group and raised £2M (in two phases) to turn a defunct 1970’s community centre in their village into what the Department for Energy and Climate Change have called ‘one of the greenest community centres in the country’.