Construction Underway for HOK-Designed Youth Center in Former Grain Storage Facility North of London
As part of the HOK 24 / SIXTY firm-wide community service initiative, HOK’s London office has provided pro bono design services to transform a 100-year-old grain store into an active youth center.
Youthscape is a UK-based charity headquartered in Luton, a city just north of London. The organization helps disadvantaged young people locally through hands-on programming and nationwide through social media. In 2014, 8,000 young people benefited from the therapy, coaching and programming supported by the Youthscape team.
HOK’s London office has donated more than 60 hours of architecture and interior design services for the charity’s new headquarters at Bute Mills, a 100-year-old grain storage facility in the heart of Luton’s town center. In addition to design services, HOK’s London office has spent two years supporting the project by contacting suppliers for product discounts, assembling the entire professional and contracting team, and guiding the client through the design and construction process.
Scheduled for completion this fall, the new Bute Mills site will give Youthscape the opportunity to develop new programs and work with more young people.
The lower ground floor of Bute Mills will become a multipurpose space where the teenagers can relax and interact. Underneath the pitched roof, staff will work with young people on training and educational initiatives, including helping them develop social enterprise projects.
Bute Mills will enhance Youthscape’s programs by providing space for conferences and events. Its proximity to Luton’s transport hubs, including the airport shuttle and railway station, provides easy accessibility for teachers and youth workers from across the UK.
Youthscape’s ultimate goal is for Bute Mills to become a national hub for innovation in youth work. Young workers and teachers will train together and inspire each other to provide similar services in their own communities.