Central YMCA, London

Year: 2004
WAG personnel: architects and project managers
Project description: new offices and reception area for sports club
Contract sum: £100,000

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On this project we worked within a very tight budget to deliver increadible value to the client. We were appointed to reorganise and rebrand the reception area of Central YMCA on Gt Russell St, London. We started the project by conducting a 24 hr survey of the use of the building, monitoring who came in, how long they stayed etc. We also interviewed thereceptionists and built their needs into the brief.
Our solution was not what the client initially thought that they needed, although they fully supported our analysis and design proposal.
We audited the materials in the old reception area to see what could be recycled – many storage systems could be reused within new frameworks, with new facias, for example.
There were a number of CDM challenges in relation to programme and Health and Safety, as the sports club remained open throughout the course of the works, and work had to be sequenced around the space with temporary facilities as part of the design.
When pitching for the job we partnered with a management contractor. However, due to the tight budget and programme, they pulled out, and all other quotes attempted to take advantage of the situation, and were way above the clients budget. We were able to resolve this by us taking on the construction and project management appointments, and the client taking direct contracts with each appointed sub-contractor.
The central feature of the new reception area was a concrete desk, which featured special cast mouldings. We developed the moulds and helped produce the casts, at the workshops of Pallam Precast in Enfield.This work latercontributed to a RIBA funded and Concrete Centre supported research project into the use of CADCAM produced formwork for concrete.
Date of Commission: May 2004
Start of Works: August 2004
Completion of Works: September 2004, on time for opening by the Minister for Sport.

Designed with fabricators Pellam Precast and engineers Atelier One.

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