New Horizon Youth Centre, Kings Cross, London, UK 2007
We are concerned with how the centre can improve the quality of its accommodation, develop relations with itsneighbours and embrace its own identity as a specific organisation within the local area. We propose introducing a series of measures at three different scales. Interventions manipulate the pattern of the street, building and detail, each reflecting the future ambitions of New Horizon.
Using Chalton Street Market and local cafes andshops as a precedent we wish to broaden the influence and awareness of New Horizon. We have continued the positive appropriation of the pavement to New Horizon by broadening the centre within the ‘no man’s land’ towards the street. New Horizon forms an extension of the street market, using the pavement as a market place to offer its services and provide a space and place to identify, observe and interact.
We have created a hierarchy of specific yet flexible spaces able to adapt to a range of different daily events, constraints or configurations and have introduced simple circulation patterns and easy navigation. A series of strategic cuts enable the main body of the centre to be overlooked.
Open amenity spaces are specific, secure, overlooked, changing environments and the centre can open up to provide exhibitions, forums, performances, sales and other events such as with Somerstown festival, Nightjam or a youth parliament.
New Horizon features a continuous patterned, perforated band that transforms as it moves through the centre, from a facade screen to a wall lining, den, servery, storage and becomes an acoustic wall within the music room, unifying the whole centre
Perforated to the street- the screen offers ventilation and security but also creates a strong identity and invites interest. The pattern has inherent acoustic qualities on the interior where it forms the enclosure of the music + training studio
The studio roof is a planted sedum that features different coloured plants planted in patterns designed to change over time, forming an acoustic barrier for the studio beneath and a visual amenity for courtyard housing.
The patterns will be developed in consultation with members of New Horizon through a series of patternmaking workshops The process and product will create a sense of ownership and identity that is unique, not an institutional given.