Business Case for Kingsley Hall

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Contact: 

William Fawcett
william.fawcett@carltd.com
tel: 01223 460475

kingsleyhallbig.jpg

Kingsley Hall Bromley-by Bow. Drawing by Nicholas Ray, NRAP Architects Cambridge.

CAR has produced a business case for remodelling Kingsley Hall, Bromley-by-Bow. Kingsley Hall is a community centre founded by two extraordinary sisters, Muriel and Doris Lester, who devoted themselves to community service and world peace. The building was designed by Charles Cowles-Voysey and opened in 1928. Two claims to fame are that Mahatma Gandhi lived in one of the small cells on the top floor in 1931 and that R.D. Laing ran a clinic here in the mid-Sixties.

Sandwiched between the affluence of Canary Wharf to the south and the Olympic Village to the north, Bromley-by-Bow is a community with serious problems of deprivation. In 2001 it was the second most deprived in the whole of England and Wales. Kingsley Hall’s mission to improve the life chances and quality of life of local people is arguably as relevant today as it was at its founding. Because of Kingsley Hall’s strong connection with Gandhi, it is also planned to provide a home for a small number of gifted international students studying in London.

Nicholas Ray of NRAP Architects has designed a welcoming new entrance and large reception space for the building that will dramatically increase interaction between people visiting the centre and the various groups using its facilities. He has integrated the garden and building by removing the dividing high brick wall and creating a glazed cloister, allowing larger events such as weddings to be hosted. The plan is to seek funding to remodel Kingsley Hall to deliver a building fit for the 21st Century.

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