Somerstown Community Hub
Collaboration Key to Success for Community Hub
Bailey’s collaborative working has ensured the success of a challenging – but vital – project. The new community hub in Somerstown, Portsmouth, is nothing like the run-of-the-mill community centre. Its tubular structure stretches across a dual carriageway, connecting two communities either side.
The striking design, spanning over 4000sqm houses crucial facilities for the residents of Somerstown such as a community centre, youth centre, dance studios, sports hall, health centre, café and housing offices.
Designed to kick-start regeneration in the area, the hub wasn’t without its challenge for suppliers because of its unique design. Bailey worked closely with BAM Design’s Architect and contractor Kovara Projects Ltd from the very start of the project to make the vision a reality.
“Having Bailey’s input in the early stages of design was critical” comments Scott Norris from Kovara. “They were able to take the drawings and ensure the unusual elliptical shape that formed the end of the hub were feasible. A number of surveys had to be undertaken – which was very tricky as we were having to work theoretically only – but Bailey contributed hugely to this and helped co-ordinate much of the early planning work.”
Bailey supplied its fascia and cassette soffits for this complex oval shape, ensuring the precise shape was not compromised. In addition, because the frame of the structure was made from Glulam the products needed to be suitable for this type of material, which doesn’t allow for any expansion or contraction. “Thankfully, Bailey ensured their products fitted ensured their products fitted like we envisaged at the pre-tender stage,” adds Scott. “There was no room for error because of this unique shape, but the collaboration between ourselves, Bailey and BAM made the design workable.”
Dominic Woollerson from BAM Design was pleased the design looks as good in real life as it did as a concept: “We wanted to create a hub that not only linked the two communities and provided some much-needed services, but that also would become a landmark in the area.
“Early involvement of subcontractors is key to the success of projects such as this, as it allowed us to iron out any specific details from the get-go. For example, Bailey was able to adapt their standard I line channel to allow it to work with the form especially at the gable ends, which called for a seamless transition from straight to curved. They also worked to develop the edge and canopy panels to allow for a secret fixed cassette system which could work with a timber framed structure, glass replacement and allow hidden drainage.”
“It was important that where possible, the building used sustainable materials and features – such as Bailey’s aluminium products – as this ensured the project achieved BREEAM ‘very good’ and ‘excellent’ ratings.”
The hub, now in use, shows how important it is that subcontractors are involved with design, and that full collaboration throughout the project means smooth sailing!