London SE1 community website

Blackfriars Settlement plans revealed

London SE1 website team

New images of Blackfriars Settlement's new building have been released, showing how the charity's services will benefit from new high-quality accommodation.

Blackfriars  Settlement

Blackfriars Settlement is a charitable community foundation that offers a wide range of services to the local community in SE1. Currently it is spread over three dilapidated sites in Southwark in accommodation that is in a poor condition and inadequate for this enterprising organisation.

Shepheard Epstein Hunter have designed the new Settlement building for the corner of Pocock Street and Rushworth Street working closely with Presentation SIA (Social Investment Agency) to cross-subsidise the scheme by the construction of 36 new flats above it.

The building is arranged with shared facilities (such as the hall, lounge, crèche, reception, resource room, servery and users lounge), arranged around a central double height space. This will be the 'hub' of the Blackfriars Settlement where users and staff from different services converge, casually meet and socialise. SEH hope that this will help consolidate the sense of community already operating in the existing building and provide an entrance which is welcoming and accessible to all members of the community – including people of impaired vision, hearing and mobility.

Blackfriars  Settlement

SEH have designed the glass and steel community centre to "reflect the transparency of the Settlement", and the flats clad in lignum laminate rainscreen cladding and full height glazing to provide a light contrast to the mainly brick residential buildings around the site. The layout includes zones for 'fixed' and 'adaptable' functions. All of the functions unlikely to be adapted, such as the hall, kitchen, toilets, crèche, work centre, plant room and bin stores have been zoned south of the hub.

The architects say that mixed-use developments such as this contribute to the liveliness of our cities and animate the street. Through careful design it is possible to allow two uses with quite different requirements to sit happily on the same site.

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