This community project for Marsh Farm in Luton, provides facilities and services including healthcare accommodation, a business enterprise hub, retail outlets and an indoor playground. This project is a key component of the regeneration masterplan for the area.
Marsh Farm is a vibrant and diverse community in north Luton with a population of around 8,000 people. Most of the area was built in the 1960s with a mixture of public sector and private housing.
The project was identified as one of the first sites to be developed within the overall regeneration masterplan for Marsh Farm and was funded through the New Deals for Communities initiative.
The overall regeneration comprises new housing, a retail centre, new education and leisure facilities.
The main function of the building is to provide a one-stop shop for enhanced social services, day care facilities and healthcare, as well as a business enterprise hub, including a community café and indoor playground.
Originally envisaged as a refurbishment of an existing factory building, the client was persuaded that a superior solution could be achieved through a new-build strategy.
This allowed the design to better fulfil the brief of each user group within a dynamic, modern and thoroughly sustainable community building.
The project involved the demolition of an existing factory building and construction of the new building, whilst the existing adjacent community centre remained in full operation onsite.
Phase one was completed in 28 weeks, enabling the users of the existing building to move into the new facilities. The old community centre was then demolished and phase two of the project was completed.
The project utilises modern materials and construction techniques, as well as renewable energy sources (such as solar thermal heating), combined heating and power, water conservation and recycling.
Consultation and collaboration with the community and the various stakeholders was a key aspect of the design development and the people of Marsh Farm have fully endorsed the scheme.
The visually exciting and dynamic composition has been realised within a tight budget, with excellent levels of security and robustness and a BREEAM rating of Very Good.