In 2008 McCarter Hamill Architects were appointed to design a new community facility for Aghaloo & Blackwatertown Community Association (ABCA). Their existing Parish Hall was very small & in disrepair & could no longer meet the needs of their growing community. McCarter Hamill Architects were tasked with designing a modern multipurpose community building with a multiuse Sport/Dance/Concert Hall to accommodate 250 persons along with ancillary meeting rooms, toilets and commercial kitchen, all with high quality materials, within a restricted budget. There was a number of existing changeling site characteristics, such as, the site was stepped & faced onto & was within a List Court Yard. After a period of fund raising & securing part funding from South West Action for Rural Development (SWARD) a Planning Application was submitted & subsequently approved in January 2013. The Building Control Application, Production Drawings & Tender Documentation was then produced and Lowry Brothers Ltd were appointed as Main Contractor.
The completed building fulfils the client’s needs in a modern, dynamic & attractive building. The building has a slate roof, smooth rendered walls painted white and a dark grey engineering brick base. The high level aluminium framed ribbon windows which run the full length of the building, have external Iroko hardwood lovers which both softens the front elevation and provides the necessary solar shading. The piers between these ribbon windows are constructed with engineering brick which aesthetically detaches the roof from the building. The building is accessed through an existing Listed archway fronting on to Moore Street and from this archway is the first view of the frameless glass entrance porch with solid Iroko hardwood double doors on the other side of the Listed Courtyard. From the entrance porch you enter into a double high foyer with coved ceilings which doubles as a gallery space. The clean lines of the 2,529sqft (235m²) multi purposes hall are uninterrupted by services such as radiators as they were recessed into the three skin cavity walls to facilitate sports within the hall. A Junckers Sprung Sports/Dance floor was installed to facilitate the various activities within the hall. The building incorporated low energy designed lighting and heating systems, incorporating 9Kw solar PV and sports ball impact resistant fittings & fixtures. The Community Hall is now opened and being enjoyed by the whole local community. Phase two of this project, restoring the Listed Court Yard and Taylor House Building will take place in the next five years subject to funding, followed by Phase three which will see the rear car park being surfaced and landscaped.