Community, Education, Projects

Tulse Hill APG-Outdoor Classroom

Variant Office were commissioned to develop an outdoor classroom for Tulse Hill APG to improve the offer within the APG for the users and as a potential lettable space to local schools.

Community, Education, Projects

Marcus Lipton Youth Centre Refurbishment

Variant Office developed a brief with Marcus Lipton Youth Centre in Loughborough Junction
to release space for rental opportunities and more productive use, so that MLYC could become
financially self-sufficient. VO identified objectives to reorganise the existing spaces with
minimal intervention, proposing a number of deep storage areas to free up space for other uses.

We developed a draft cost plan to enable MLYC to identify which works would prove the most valuable,
and worked as part of a group with Public Works, Loughborough Junction Action Group, and the neighbouring
Grove Adventure Playground, to develop an overall strategy for the two sites.

Community, Education, Projects

Calthorpe Under 5s space

Variant office was commissioned to develop a play strategy for Calthorpe Community Gardens under 5 space. Whilst the space available is reasonable it suffers from a lack of master planning resulting ad-hoc additions and under-used areas within the site.
We proposed a strategy that maximised the free space by developing a series of interventions around the perimeter of the site, enlarging the canopy to improve the play offer in inclement weather and moving the ramp to minimise space lost to circulation.

Community, Cultural, Education, Projects

Under the Canopy

“Under the Canopy” is our proposal for the Woodlands Trust Competition
“Under the Canopy” is rooted in the instinct of a farmer building a barn or a soldier making camp: to raise a roof and take cover underneath. It begins with a broad truss of interlocking timbers, raised on wooden columns. Under this roof, the main room is an open space that gives onto the landscape.
It is entirely flexible, surrounded by doors and shutters that be closed shut or thrown open depending on the weather and the many differing needs of the visitors. To the fourth side is a private, insulated block containing office, kitchen and toilets.
The end grains of the timbers in the truss can be painted in memoriam. When interlinked to create the joint, they act an evocation of the strong bonds forged during the war, as well as dappling the sunlight passing through in an echo of a forest canopy.
The straightforward panelised system lends itself to organic growth as needs require and funds allow, so that the building can expand and the rooms within be transformed or upgraded. Much as generations of farmers changed and repaired their buildings, these spaces will thrive with the forest.