Sands End Community and Arts Centre

Commercial & Leisure

Location: London


Structural engineer: Elliott Wood Partnership

Main contractor: Neilcott Construction

Joinery: P.R. Boakes Ltd, Tom Graham Joinery

Wood supplier: Egoin

Species: whitewood spruce

Sands End Arts and Community Centre replaces an older facility that stood in the vicinity but had been sold to enable residential development. The new centre comprises the refurbished Grade-II listed Clancarty Lodge and a series of flexible, newly built one-storey pavilions clustered around the original structure. The lodge’s exterior has been faithfully restored in line with heritage requirements. The new pavilions feature a single pitch roof with tall clerestory windows, inspired by glasshouses that stood on the site in the 18th century. Massing has been subtly adjusted to create a slightly irregular, picturesque cluster in keeping with the landscape, and to create a new, welcoming entrance plaza. The flexible internal spaces can be adapted to different uses and occasions through movable partitions. In the future, the centre will also contain a nursery and a café. The building already serves its community as a temporary Covid-19 testing centre. On the side of the courtyard, deep eaves ensure effective shading from the sun and protect the inside from glare. All the spaces are zero threshold and fully accessible. Large scale CLT panels and glulam beams have been used as the primary structural material, these have been left exposed or stained green to highlight the material’s intrinsic qualities.