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A community clubhouse for Harlesdon Town Garden

Title: A community clubhouse for Harlesdon Town Garden
Name of fabricator: Friends of Harlesdon Town Garden
Architects and contractors: Storp Weber Architects, the Bartlett School of Architecture, LafargeF.H. BrundleLathams 
Hot dip galvanized by: Joseph Ash Medway
End client: Friends of Harlesdon Town Garden
Finish provided: Hot dip galvanizing
Size and amount of steel: 72 sheets of steel


Project goals
In 2013, an open space and playground for the local community in Harlesdon had become an area that was uninviting and known for anti-social behaviour. A community consultation was held to see how to improve the land. As a result, an organisation called the Friends of Harlesdon Town Garden (FHTG) was created (in partnership with Crisis Brent and Brent Council) to improve the parkland with a new play area for children, a green lawn and wildflower area, a multi-use games area and raised bed allotments. As part of the project, FHTG also wanted to build a community Clubhouse. A number of volunteers, businesses, charities and educational facilities – including Joseph Ash Medway, Storp Weber Architects, the Bartlett School of Architecture, LafargeF.H. Brundle, and Lathams – stepped in to help with construction and funding.

What happened
The Clubhouse sits at the heart of the new community garden. Designed by local Brent Architects Storp Weber – as part of an on-going research and community outreach activity at the Bartlett School of Architecture – the building acts as a central hub where visitors and gardeners can go for tea and biscuits or conversation. It is also used as a multi-functional, eco-friendly venue for workshops, events and meetings.

Materials and size
The main shell of the Clubhouse is a shipping container surrounded with a steel frame and timber panelled perimeter. Lafarge provided the insulation, Lathams provided the timber, and F.H. Brundle provided the steel frame which we were only too happy to hot dip galvanize.

Joseph Ash Medway collected 72 pieces of steel in total, collectively weighing 842kg, from the Bartlett School of Architecture, hot dip galvanized it and delivered it to Harlesdon. The galvanised finish will protect the steel from the elements – rust and erosion – for the next 25 years.

Outcome
The Clubhouse project was completed in July 2019, and it has successfully brought together local residents and gardeners in all weathers.

Tim Palmer at Joseph Ash Medway said: “The Harlesdon Community Garden Project is a great initiative where people can work hard, play hard, exercise, learn new skills, improve their area, and meet new people. The Clubhouse acts as a focal point for the garden and we were happy to donate our services when the School of Architecture approached us. It has been great to work in partnership with Storp Weber, Lafarge, Brundle Steel, Lathams and the students at the University. It’s also amazing to see what can be achieved when many groups – communities, organisations, businesses – pull together.”

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