Garrion People’s Housing Cooperative (GPHC), in association with North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) developed a tight brief for a new, single-storey building to meet the needs of local residents in Gowkthrapple as part of the wider green network and masterplan for the area (developed by Ironside Farrer). The new building houses offices for Garrion People’s Housing Cooperative and North Lanarkshire Council, a locally run cafe, pre-and-after school care, corner shop and flexible meeting rooms for use by a variety of local groups/activities. Collective Architecture worked closely with GPHC, NLC and local residents’ groups to develop proposals for the new building, which included traveling on-street workshops and open days. The new building takes the existing site orientation and proposed spaces into consideration. Two distinct blocks are formed within the triangular site. These are accessed internally from a brightly lit ‘covered street’, which is sufficiently large to allow the cafe or meeting rooms to occupy the space for larger events. Each block is clad in a warmly coloured masonry skin - one red clay brick and one yellow precast concrete. The yellow, south-facing block houses community facilities such as the creche, meeting room and cafe. A large movable internal partition between cafe and meeting room allows spaces to expand and contract. The red, brick block houses the Co-operative’s offices and relocated shop. A business start-up unit with mezzanine is also located within this block. Shared toilets and support facilities are located within this block and are accessed directly from the shared internal street. The entrance faces towards the existing community of Gowkthrapple and will in time sit overlooking a new path/road formation. The car park and outdoor spaces were initially designed to be used for a variety of play and outdoor activities eg. ball games, seating and growing projects. These elements were unable to be funded as part of this phase of the project, but Garrion People’s Housing Cooperative are working to introduce these elements and are currently progressing a tree-planting project.
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