As a well-established and much-loved provider of community services in Islington, the Highbury Roundhouse is a charitable trust who required a new building to bring together on one site the range of services they provide to the local community.
Until 2013 the Roundhouse operated from a former bottle works building on the same site, but this was condemned and demolished with the group's activities being dispersed to several centres in the borough. The new centre will once again unite all the Highbury Roundhouses’ functions in one unique, new-build, multi-purpose building.
The site is a vacant and cleared triangular-shaped backland plot bordered by residential dwellings and a community garden, and accessed via an adjacent 'front' site from Ronalds Road. Both the 'front' and 'back' sites are owned by the London Borough of Islington, with whom the Roundhouse are finalising a development agreement for the 'back' site. The design of the new centre, led by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, brings together spaces for early years, youth and elders' groups, a retail cafe/kitchen; offices, a dance studio and other community spaces around a large new double-storey hall with an impressive ceiling.
The design gained planning consent in July 2013, following which the Roundhouse began fundraising to finance the project with technical design work commencing in autumn 2015. Now thanks to an award of nearly one million pounds from the Lottery and matching funding from islington Council, the team is committed to delivering a robust, hard-wearing and inspiring community asset whilst controlling construction costs and making a meaningful start on site by February 2017.