My Place Youth Centre, Widnes

A lottery funded project working with young people and council officers to redevelop the grounds of a former health centre and create a world class youth facility. The external spaces wrap around an existing building a fully refurbished Grade II listed local landmark with contemporary extension, in a series of activity areas.

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At the heart of the new layout is a brightly coloured courtyard, featuring sculptural lighting columns. This spacious external hub extends the functions of the multi-purpose hall, creating valuable inside-outside space for outdoor music events, dramatics and art activities.

The main frontage to the site features a more formal design to respect the setting of the historic building. Two seating lawns are arranged to either side of the main entrance approach and brick pathways reflect the art deco detailing on the curved, symmetrical façade. This area also includes the ‘Growing Zone’, with accessible raised beds for growing fruit, vegetables and herbs and composting facilities. The Youth Design Team, who were closely involved with the brief and design for the whole project, had an ambition to promote healthy living. These facilities were included to enable young people to be able to learn about self-sufficiency, horticulture, and growing your own food. The design also features a compact multi-use games area, car and cycle parking.

Client: Halton Borough Council

Project completed at Austin-Smith:Lord