RSAW 2022 Award Winners
Grange Pavilion Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
Awards won: RSAW Welsh Architecture Award 2022 and RSAW Client of the Year 2022
The judges were impressed by this extraordinary community project which exemplifies true collaboration. Four years were invested in community engagement to test interest and need, well before the architect put pen to paper. This led to the community partnering with Cardiff University to develop a best practice methodology. This has brought meaningful change to the Grangetown community and upon the building’s completion, this work has followed through into a very thorough and insightful post-occupancy exercise undertaken in collaboration with architecture students at Cardiff University.
The building itself replaces an underused and deteriorating Bowls Club with a new multi-use building which has the ability to adapt with its community. On our visit, we approached the pavilion through a small park and were presented with a relatively blank brick wall, referred to as the garden wall which provides a robust, harder public facing side. A highly glazed entrance drew us through into the pavilion to views out across a protected inner garden wrapped by the building. This inner sanctum offers an attractive setting and a safe space for its users. The glazed walls on this side of the pavilion use patterned Corten steel and timber cladding to give a delicate, lighter feel.
Its material palette responds well to its functionality and economy of means - the use of brick is a sensible choice providing a robust and easy to maintain frontage to the park and contrasts well with the lighter materials used on the elevations facing the inner garden. The use of familiar forms, the garden wall and pitched roofs that take their cue from neighbouring terraced houses, adds to the comfortable fit the pavilion has both in its physical context and in the minds of its users.
Internally, the pavilion provides three large activity rooms all with different outlooks and character - one has a timber floor to facilitate dance and exercise activities. The building has a degree of flexibility built in and allows for its users to adapt it over time. We were able to see it being used by a number of different groups and witnessed some of the small changes and personalisation's that are already taking place - an extra door to link to a shared kitchen, a bowling plaque placed on the wall and plans to adapt the interior.
There is a feel of care, generosity and delight in all aspects of the pavilion including a forward-thinking approach to the evolving landscape. An element of playfulness is apparent, which helps engage young people who love the little things like the bee bricks. Children from the local area were the creators of the patterns used in the Corten steel. Overall, the pavilion is proving very popular and has brought huge social value to its users. We were also impressed by how much has been achieved on a tight budget.