The re-invention of the Trowbridge Centre is an example of 'Social Action'. The project demonstrated that involving the local community can kick start the process of change.
The Trowbridge Centre was a secure institution in the centre of a run down, inner city estate on the edge of Hackney. The high perimeter wall and the poor state of the buildings only emphasised the centre’s isolation. It was used as a day centre for young adults with severe learning difficulties, often combined with physical disabilities.
We worked for over five years with Simon Thorne, a development officer with the local authority, the staff and users to raise funds and transform the institution over four separate phases of construction.
The completed building has a training kitchen that offers a coffee shop for the local community and delivers catering contracts, a garden centre that organises garden maintenance for local pensioners, a bicycle repair shop, computer training projects and a fully equipped art studio. As part of the transformative process, we opened up sections of the perimeter wall and organised the design and planting of the garden by local school children. The garden was opened with a poem commissioned from reggae poet, Benjamin Zephaniah.
“Hawkins\Brown have given the Centre a strong sense of identity.”