A new sports facility for the London Borough of Hackney’s youth service on a previously derelict site behind the Old Baths in Hackney Wick.
muf worked closely with Young Hackney to develop and refine the brief and detailed design. The hub is free to use and open after school during term time and throughout the day in the school holidays.
A constrained site is maximised with an intensification of uses – both sporty and social, to ensure the widest participation.
An old football pitch has been refurbished into a multi-use games area which also serves as a space for dance practice using the large-scale mirror along the new 100m2 building’s main facade.
Inside there is an activity and learning studio as well as an office, WCs and flexible storage. A sheltered courtyard creates an all-weather space to gather and relax. Large cupboards opening onto the MuGa provide storage for groups hosting activities, and the alleyway has running lines for races and a spectator’s bench.
The building was designed with an economy of materials and sits lightly on the ground. The cross-laminated timber used throughout remains exposed and stained with colour, and existing brick boundary walls form the back of the courtyard. Space has been made for growing and biodiversity including a large wire mesh for climbers. Six solar voltaic panels are positioned for maximum visibility, celebrating the young people’s commitment to addressing the climate emergency.
Funding for the project was secured from a range of internal and external sources including the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund and London Legacy Development Corporation’s Neighbourhood Priorities Fund.
The brief was developed with Young Hackney and a group of the young people they work with, and inspired by the research Through Young Eyes led by Hackney Quest