TOKKO Youth Space
This MyPlace funded community building for 14-19 year olds is designed to engender a sense of belonging to the youth within Luton.
The bold twisted form expresses the very dynamic uses within the building. A welcoming open set of spaces invite you in at street level, the higher you progress through the building the more enclosed the spaces become arriving at the Parkour Studio at the top which overlooks the centre of Luton connecting the fluid movement of free-running with the vibrant town centre.
Set within a conservation area this building dramatically rises above its context. It will be seen from long distance and its orientation has informed our design as we minimised the openings to their optimal orientation helping to reduce the overall building energy loads. The massing defined as two boxes twists to enable a street scale building to be read from eye level, the shift in form also creates the entrance and the dramatic cantilever emphasising the change in functions within.
The design was developed with the youth themselves who we mentored and tutored to understand the architectural drivers that form good design. This open and fluid design process was recognised by CABE as an exemplar experience in stakeholder engagement.
The Youth Centre is built with all exposed concrete finishes, and a minimal palette of materials - concrete, glass and metal panels use the mass of the building to provide its own night time cooling. Low energy air source heat pumps are used to keep the building to a comfortable temperature.