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Lift Youth Hub (former White Lion Centre)
Alan Dale Architects were engaged by Islington Council to undertake a Feasibility Study and an RIBA Stage D design and Employers Requirements for a major upgrade and remodelling exercise.
The original building, part Edwardian/ part Victorian, is an attractive 3 storey ex-London Board School. It had been in use for some years for a variety of Youth services and, although the building is roomy, some ad-hoc sub-division, cramped staircases and hidden entrances compromised the openness which was needed for this facility.
The aim was for prospective users to gain some impression of what happens within the complex from the street and then, having entered the building, what is on offer inside. Design workshops were held with the larger user groups. Various sketch designs were produced which included a new glass stairwell to enable users to see along the whole length of each floor and witness all of the activities taking place. At the bottom of this stairwell, a new entrance foyer, visible from the street, would be formed to welcome prospective users and facilitate appropriate allocation of service on arrival.
The services on offer are diverse, dynamic and ever-changing, and therefore it was decided to clear out all recent sub-divisions and produce large, flexible spaces which could be modified to respond to changing requirements via the use of service pods and moveable furniture units.
Islington Council, in conjunction with Alan Dale Architects, invited Tenders and subsequently Kier London carried the project through to a very successful completion, employing their own team to develop the design for construction. The finished building following the original vision in almost all aspects. The new building, managed by the Isledon Partnership, officially opened its doors in Spring 2012, continuing renewed and vital provision for Islington’s young people. .