youth centre, milton keynes


This project was a competition for a new youth centre in the middle of Milton Keynes.  The concept for the project was to create a broad mixture of private/semi-private and communal space which would allow the ‘family’ to bond and solialise, whilst also allowing the individuals to express themselves within their own space.


The scheme’s intension is to create an open communal living space with a series of ‘extended’ bedrooms giving the children a personal space where they can retreat to as well as sleep in.  The bedrooms are designed to incorporate an area which can accommodate a seating/relaxing area: an individual living space.  The orientation of the building allows this seating area to have glazed sliding doors which open onto a private, sheltered garden enclosed by the mature trees surrounding the site.  A private space within a communal environment.


The main communal areas of the house are open plan; just like a lot of modern houses.  This makes the spaces seem larger and easier to manoeuvre around in a wheelchair.  The individual spaces are defined not by walls but by the architecture: exposed dual pitch roofs.  Although not all of the spaces are open as the Playroom is designed as a more traditional enclosed space so there is some differentiation of room types.


The architecture of the building is intended to be contemporary, whilst using traditional forms.  Pitched roofs cover each individual living space defining the separate spaces, whilst evoking a residential street scene.  The pitched roofs continue over the communal living spaces; being slightly higher they define this as the main living area.  A step in the building footprint along with a cantilevered horizontal entrance canopy define the main entrance area at the front of the house.