Boundary Court Community Hub

Location: Joyce & Snells Estate, Upper Edmonton, Enfield
Type: Community Space, Retrofit, Research
Client: Enfield Council
Collaborators: Simple Works, CJD Consultancy, Stockdale
Duration: 2022-
Status: Developed Design

Okra have been commissioned by the London Borough of Enfield’s Public Health team to develop a proposition for the renewal of a former doctor’s surgery, on the ground floor of a housing block on the Joyce & Snells Estate. The client was keen to understand options for how local social issues can be tackled with urgency, while a high-quality new piece of social infrastructure can be delivered in the longer term.

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Responding to the brief, Okra have proposed a multi-phased approach to re-activating the building. The proposal for Phase 1 involves a light refurbishment to the existing building, to allow for its immediate use. A low cost café and flexible spaces will support the growth of local community organisations and  enable signposting to initiatives in the local area. Phase 2 proposes a more extensive refurbishment to create a transformative and accessible community hub, which will enable a greater variety of activities to take place.

To inform the proposal Okra employed a wide variety of engagement methodologies, which utilised the existing building and surrounding public realm, exploring ideas directly through the programming of public activities. Through the series of in-person workshops, Okra worked closely with residents, community organisations and emerging local groups, learning from their knowledge and experiences.

The outcome of this multifaceted approach is a deeper understanding of key local priorities and the building of relationships, allowing for meaningful resident input in defining the brief and informing the design work. Okra also responded to community priorities and developing local authority policy around food poverty and have undertaken a research study on emerging food hub typologies, exploring how key principles can be applied as part of any future proposal for the site.