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Our Favourite Community Buildings


Sheffield Central Library

Sheffield Central Library is a favourite spot for me. glazed roof that lets the natural light in, creates a bright and welcoming space to read books or play board games. During my last visit, I was pleasantly surprised by someone playing the piano at the entrance which added a nice touch to the visit.


The Red Shed at Birmingham Settlement

This is a joyful little building at a fantastic community event and festival space in the West of Birmingham. I visited for the Retrofit Reimagined festival last year and loved the way the bright red building sat against the green woodland backdrop. It’s a compact building with cafe/meeting space, office and toilets but adds a much needed anchor and permanent facilities to the site.


The Kastrup Sea Bath, Copenhagen

I was lucky enough to visit Copenhagen back when I was a student. One thing I was really impressed with was all the public swimming platforms dotted around the cities – some in the canals and rivers and others in the sea itself. This one by White Arkitekter was one of my favourites, I love the sweeping timber structure which shelters bathers from the cold North wind by opens upto the South to catch the sun. The other thing I love about the bathing platforms is that they were all free to use, meaning everyone in the community can enjoy them, not just those who can afford an entry ticket. 

Unfortunately it was too cold to take a dip  when I was there in February, we were struggling to stay warm as it was! 


Phoenix Gardens in London

I was lucky enough to visit it in January while in London for the weekend, a good place to escape the busy streets of Covent Garden.

It was originally a WW2 bomb site turned into a community garden and later on this lovely community building was added.

A simple but highly successful design, compact with a strong connection to the garden. It doesn’t overpower this small site, it’s just perfect really.

I particularly love the brick paving floor spreading inside the building for continuity and the street elevation.


The Rose Building

I love the bright red external staircase Feilden Fowles designed for this school building.

It’s a simple idea, not too expensive to create (as it takes the circulation outside of the building envelope), and creates space for all sorts of activities and life. 


Elland Road

After an attempt at using the ground as collateral in a recent deal to sell the club, Elland Road has been reinstated as an Asset of Community Value. I think it therefore technically qualifies as a ‘community building’, although you have to pay [an awful lot] to get inside and watch the best club in the world slip into League One.