Photo courtesy of Rory Gardiner
The Foundry is a landmark new home in Vauxhall, London, for voluntary and charitable organisations from the social justice and human rights sector. Created by the transformation of an early 20th Century shoe polish factory, it provides an accessible and collaborative base for these mission driven organisations. The open ground floor and external decks at upper levels encourage the local community to utilise the new facilities in partnership with the building users to develop a sense of shared ownership and mutual understanding. The public visit not for social justice, but to use the facilities provided, and through that, a tacit understanding of how the organisations can help them. Each building has been designed to provide a base for each organisation who can spill out into the building to aid collaboration or find conditions beneficial for the work they are doing. Spaces were also created to encourage serendipitous encounters at the tea points, widened corridors or free meeting spaces. Each floor provides a high level of flexibility with regards to partition layout, offering the possibility of complete open plan if required as well as encouraging uses such as crèche or local shop facilities. Also embodying principles of environmental justice, the transformed building achieves EPC A-rating and BREAM Excellent. This was done within an extremely tight budget of £1050/sqm.