Designing with Community in Mind
Through quality local consultation early in the design process, it should be possible to understand and identify what the community needs and how a venue or space can deliver on this. This in turn will help to define the design brief and inform the layout and 3D design.
Assuming a host cannot offer a dedicated community space, there are likely to be two approaches to this, both with merit, presenting similar but unique design challenges.
One route may be to fully embrace a specific need in an area – for example does the community need a space for young people to use for dance or performance- based practice? For this approach, the host space can be designed to serve two very particular functions; function 1 being for primary use – for example a restaurant – and function 2 as the secondary use for the community.
Having two clear uses allows the designer to be more precise, with the design crafting the space. The second and perhaps more likely approach would be for a space that can be multi-functional; from hosting a local meeting to providing space for local events – much like how community halls function in rural areas.
Fabrix, a property investor and developer, is already making its portfolio sustainable with community, arts and culture its core purpose. The Bottle Factory in Peckham, (a former bottling warehouse), which opened in 2019, has over 30,000 sq ft of adaptable, multi-use space for artists, makers and music events.
This summer a collaboration with Corsica Studios saw The Bottle Factory host The Paperworks; a lively music programme combined with creative arts experiences, offering a selection of contemporary street-food, drinks and cocktails to create a new open-air destination for South London. Last year, it was also used to film Qweens’ Speech – a vibrant alternative to the Queen’s Speech, shot by Zhang & Knight at ACNE for Dazed. In addition, Movember used the space to host a Christmas fundraiser with all the proceeds going towards meeting the charity’s goal of reducing male suicide by 25% by 2030.