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03 Aug 2018

South Kilburn mixed-use workspace opens after community-led regeneration

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Old church hall converted into community hub for local people, in a prime example of community-led regeneration

Housed in a 19-century church hall, a new mixed-use workspace and community hub has opened its doors in South Kilburn. The Granville’s regeneration has been led by the local community, in partnership with RCKa, who were keen to protect a much-loved local landmark.  

The new project provides affordable workspace for local entrepreneurs and incorporates existing uses ranging from a childrens’ to a community kitchen.

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The open nature of the completed space encourages interaction between workspace users, fostering creative collaboration and a supportive communal environment.

Visitors are greeted by a brightly coloured entrance before the building opens up into the original church hall, which RCKa has converted into an ‘enterprise hub’. ‘"This open space encourages entrepreneurs to be aware of their neighbours, fostering creative collaboration and a communal environment,” says Dieter Kleiner from RCKa.

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Working with a tight budget RCKa focused on flexibility and built a space that could accomodate a large number of users. The practice relied on low-cost materials and to keep the shell of the building largely intact. A series of open studios were created around a new bright blue staircase, which connects users on both floors of the workspace and accentuates the height of the hall.

The idea was to create a triple height market hall space, where on arrival visitors see all the activity going on in individual studios and experience the buzz of creativity. Finally, the creation of an open and welcoming public ‘living room’, complete with community café provides a focal point for circulation and increases flexibility where previously there had been only cellular rooms.

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"The South Kilburn Trust is committed to creating a space for local residents,” Mark Allen, CEO, South Kilburn Trust who partnered with RCKa on the space. “Business and organisations, now and for the long term. People tell us that the space matters. We worked closely with RCKa to come up with a concept that would take into account a wide range of uses, for a wide range of people, and the initial feedback is that together we have come up with something that really works."

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