top of page

Bourne Valley Community Centre

An urban regeneration project in the heart of the community


Poole, Dorset


Footprint Architects were employed by Poole Communities Trust to design a replacement nursery building and new community hub in Poole.

The project involved the complete redevelopment of an existing youth centre site to provide new pre-school, youth centre, community group facilities, a multi-functional activity hall a café centered on local engagement. This is a deprived area of Poole that faces many generational challenges and is frequently targeted by anti-social, destructive behaviour. The goal was to provide the local community with a positive and safe space with vital services, support and facilities.

Understanding the inner workings of the existing nursery, community and the importance of this project to the local people, has been crucial in producing a successful design. The project has four key stakeholders groups, all of whom raised funds for the project through government grants and charitable fundraising events. The number of stakeholders and user groups meant the project was complex and the design had to satisfy the requirements of various group, resolve adjacencies, and safeguard users whilst still being an open and welcoming community facility.

Multiple meetings with all stakeholders were held to discuss the requirements for the project, as well as three public consultations. These consultations were held within the existing youth centre for the benefit of the community, introducing them to the design, giving them the opportunity to provide feedback and to get involved in the evolution of the project.

“We’ve been open now for more than a year and its more than exceeded our expectations. We have all different kinds of people using the building”. – Debbie Dixon, Project Manager

The key drivers in our design were to ensure the proposal prioritised the wellbeing and needs of the users and service providers. It was important to create a space that reflects the positivity of the local community.
Our analysis of the site identified its prominent positioning within the physical centre of the community. This together with being positioned on a prominent corner site provided the opportunity to create a landmark project that could foster a sense of pride, ownership and act as a community beacon.

Through all design stages the local community were invited to partake in design decisions where we used a range of medium to assist in the public consultations including a physical architectural model and computer-generated 3D modelling. This was important for ensuring all members of the community were engaged with the design process and aware of the positive changes being proposed within their community.

The concept involved a tall curved brick wall wrapping around the perimeter of the site protecting the inner areas and the creation of an inner courtyard to provide a quiet and safe environment. The curve design and window positioning create a playful identity for the area. The new building stands proud and has successfully fulfilled the charity’s aspirations to uplift and re-engage this local community.

Behind The Scenes

Similar Works

bottom of page