Against tough competitors, such as Rafael Viñoly, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and Foreign Office Architects, the competition to design the Jewish Community Center was awarded to Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. The 30,000 sqf JCC project will emphasize an arts and community center that aims to bring “light, life and activity back to the street.” Situated on a heavily trafficked road, the JCC will include a three story linear pavilion that will create a “landscaped piazza and relate to the Camden Arts Center’s gardens” opposite the site.
More about the JCC after the break.
The large central piazza functions as an external room that links the center’s activities with the happenings of the community. Passersby as well as members of the JCC are brought together in one space. Alex Lifschutz explained, “The piazza is designed to activate Finchley Road, functioning as an outdoor room – equipped to host events, markets, ice skating – for the JCC’s programme, as well as inviting in the wider community.”
The center’s varying programmatic elements, such as the library, café, auditorium and screening room, classrooms, dance and rehearsal studios, nursery and offices, are arranged vertically with privacy increasing with each floor. The façade is fully glazed, and certain rooms are screened or open to galleries according to function. “Rooms are intermittently extended to the perimeter of the galleries giving articulation to the façade,” explained the architects.
Nick Viner, chief executive of the JCC, said the new building “will befit a community center which is truly the heart of the community, catering to the needs of all – young and old, religious and secular.”
architect: Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
project manager: Davis Langdon
planning consultant: DP9
QS: Gardiner & Theobolds
services and sustainability engineer: Norman Disney Young
structural engineer: Adams Kara Taylor
transport engineer: Faber Maunsell
acoustic engineer: Cole Jarman Associates
environment engineer: Faber Maunsell/Aecom
access consultant: All Clear