The myplace initiative was 'a multi-million pound government programme designed to make great places for young people to go' - and 'to create world-class facilities across England, including some of the most disadvantaged communities'. As part of the Government's myplace programme, Hackney Council built four new or refurbished youth centres in the borough.
The Edge (formerly Parkside) myplace is in Woodberry Down Hackney, close to Manor Park tube station and Finsbury Park, and Skinners Academy for which we provided the control scheme, and within the £1bn Woodberry Down masterplan which we prepared.
The existing 1970's building was single storey and inward looking, with little presence on the street. The concept of the transformation is 'a box on a box' - a rectangular section tube floats over the western half of the existing building at first floor level. The zinc-clad tube cantilevers over the entrance to form shelter and act as a sign for the building. The ends of the 'tube' are fully glazed, acting as beacons for the interesting activities that might go on inside, and enabling young people on the inside to look out over the surroundings.
The new part of the transformation has its own foundations punched through the existing buildings. New windows give transparency onto the street. The surrounding landscaped will be improved to provide places to grow vegetables (for cooking inside the myplace), outdoor games and a garden. Construction started in January 2012 with main contractor Neilcott and was completed in autumn 2012.