Kingsmere Community Centre, Bicester

Countryside Properties wanted to provide a facility, for Bicester’s Kingsmere community, for group activities, social support and other purposes. The initial proposal was to provide the local residents with a new building which would consist of a two-storey community centre with hall and a youth club facility.

The new Kingsmere Community and Youth Centre offer the community a hub for the Kingsmere residents in Bicester.

The building provides an indoor activity hall, meeting rooms, coffee bar, office space and kitchen area.

We were aware that end user was going to use the building for a variety of uses so we adopted a design strategy that would allow the centre to become adaptable to accommodate multiple purposes.

Brise soleil (solar shading) was installed onto the main hall to reduce heat gain by deflecting sunlight. As well as providing a comfortable temperature within the hall it also acts an architectural feature to the building.

We provided a robust design scheme for the youth centre so that it could withstand extensive use over a longer period of time. PV panels were also fitted to the roof of the youth centre to boost electricity independence.

Roof mounted natural ventilation was utilised in the main hall. Due to a lack of windows this system would keep the hall cool without the need for installing air conditioning units, which would avoid high running costs.

The ventilation turrets have an integral solar powered fan to provide additional ventilation during sunny conditions. The built-in fans assist with boost to get air flow through to the main hall. The system also has the advantage of virtually zero noise levels that will not disturb nearby residents.