RIBA London Awards WINNER
RIBAJ Macewen Awards HIGH COMMENDED
Camden Design Awards Best Building WINNER
NLA Awards 2018 HIGHLY COMMENDED
The Phoenix Garden Community Building is one of the only purpose-built community buildings in Camden, and replaces storage sheds and concrete hard-standing, and is situated on a bomb site.
The client wished for a new building to facilitate further enjoyment of the adjoining Phoenix Gardens and to provide a venue for a multitude of uses; space for school visits, community parties, education events and weddings are provided. There is step-free access, fully wheelchair accessible WC facilities, a kitchenette, admin desk area, and extensive storage areas. The Client also required the new building to act as a beacon of what the garden itself stands for: sustainability, community, and the promotion of free-to-access green spaces in the city.
The architects were appointed in 2014, with work starting on site in 2016. Final completion of all elements was in 2018.
The concept for the building was that of a ‘Hidden Garden’. Brickwork to match the existing low-garden walls is the primary material used for the external walls. An archway suggests not only an entrance, but also of a garden behind. The main facade is celebrated with white limestone lettering which references the nearby St Giles Church. The ‘Phoenix’ stone lettering provides a landmark feature to aid the promotion of the building its facilities.
A prefabricated SIP building system, allowing the frame to be made offsite, was necessary due to the tight building conditions. The poor quality of the existing ground, together with it being a bomb site, also provided unique challenges; pile foundations were proposed only after extensive unexploded bomb detection tests.
The green roof of the structure increases the planting area of the Garden by 90sqm. Features such as air-source heat pumps, super-insulated pre-fabricated walls, grey-water usage and rainwater harvesting, the new community building was designed with sustainability as a key driving force.