RIBA Regional Awards 2014: West Midlands
The Lighthouse, Aston, Birmingham
Associated Architects for Birmingham Youth Services
Contract £4m. GIA 1,930m2
Sitting on a hill, The Lighthouse is a clearly visible beacon of hope for surrounding communities that struggle with deprivation. Its cantilevered polycarbonate box hovers above a fully-glazed base spelling out the functions within: a sports hall and theatre stage above open-plan ground floor training and teaching spaces. The cantilever helps shade the transparent ground floor and frames panoramic views.
Internally, investment priorities were good lighting design and playful furniture and equipment, while the concrete structure has been exposed for thermal mass. Spatial planning for the public areas avoids corridors or dead spaces as well as offering good surveillance with minimal staff to help provide a safe, secure environment.