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The Workhouse, Poplar:

community and sports facilities connect Poplar to Canary Wharf business quarter

Sports, tourism and leisure
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Contract value:
Poplar, Tower Hamlets, London
Completion date:
Project status:

Located at the heart of Poplar High Street The Workhouse provides community and sports facilities, in form of multipurpose gym/exhibition space, changing areas, catering facilities and meeting rooms.

The building is arranged over two levels with the principle entrance accessed from the high street via a lightweight bridge that spans a sunken courtyard. A lowered steel canopy marks the entrance and forms a backdrop to the new public space, engaging the entrance with the new community garden.

The reception space has a projecting corner window which commands views of the entrance bridge, community garden and external all weather pitch.

A combination of folding walls and sliding screens provides various configurations for the teaching and meeting spaces that bring college students, the local community and office workers together. In a similar way the multipurpose sports hall set at the lower level provides direct access via giant sliding doors to the external pitches extending the activity opportunity for community events beyond that of sports.

Robust detailing combined with the selection of tough materials anticipates the intense use that the building experiences.

Profile metal, timber and render cladding emphasizes the geometry and elemental hierarchy.

Additional images