Innovative spatial and programmatic form derived from traditional cubic form of the Sehan established as Youth Centre design model.
The Osmani Centre is a youth facility in the heart of London’s East End. The design was led by Lee Mainwaring who was instrumental in developing an excellent relationship between the client and the local community.
Developed in close conjunction with the building users, the brief was not only to deliver a modern inner-city youth centre, but also to regenerate the area as a whole.
The building’s tight cubic form derives from the sehan, the traditional Moorish courtyard house. Here natural light and ventilation penetrate deep into the heart of the plan through a glazed vertical atrium. To retain valuable floor area, one corner of the building on the top floor cantilevers out while a roof terrace is formed on the opposite side. Window openings break up the brickwork exterior of the building, affording glimpses of the activities within; their size and location relating directly to the function of the spaces.
The Osmani Youth Centre’s innovative spatial and programmatic form is now the benchmark for community centres across the London borough of Tower Hamlets.
“The Osmani Youth Centre now serves as a benchmark for other community centres in the Borough”
Duncan A Cameron, London Borough of Tower Hamlets