myplace Youth Centre, Aston

Birmingham Youth Service has secured funding from the myplace programme to develop and deliver a series of world class youth facilities in disadvantaged communities in Birmingham. Associated Architects was appointed to design the myplace serving the communities of Aston, Lozells and Newtown.

Readily accessible ‘public’ informal and flexible spaces; group meeting rooms, IT rooms, social areas, café and advice centre, are provided at Ground floor level. More specialist and cellular accommodation is located on the upper floors, including a 4-court sports hall that can also be used for performance and conference uses, dance studio, changing facilities, music rooms including a recording studio and business enterprise units. Members of the local youth community were extensively consulted and involved throughout the scheme design process including visits to building precedents in London.

The external expression of the building seeks to clearly articulate the internal ‘private’ and ‘public’ areas within it. The highly active areas on the Ground floor are visible through full-height security glazing that offer clear views into and out of the centre. The upper floors are contained within a single volume cantilevered over the Ground floor that is visually expressed through the use of a semi-transparent coloured polycarbonate cladding. This materiality allows the building to take on varying characters at different times of the day, allows the sports hall to be naturally lit in the day, ensuring minimal reliance on artificial lighting. In the evening, the use of artificial lighting and feature LED lighting allows myplace Aston to become a ‘beacon’ within the community.

Client: Birmingham Youth Service
Project Value: £5m
Completed: 2012
EPC: B

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