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As the largest direct access hostel in the London Borough of Haringey, YMCA North London has been serving the local community since 1929.
Services offered by the centre include a fitness room and cardiovascular suite, children’s activity centre, advice centre and child care services. Renovation to the Art Deco building comprises three key strands: firstly, essential repairs of the building facade; secondly, other priority maintenance, including to the building services, roof parapet and internal fabric; thirdly, works related to the enlargement of the fitness centre, including the rearrangement of ground and first floor layouts.
The proposals aim to achieve a centre that is fit for purpose, while avoiding a more lengthy and costly refurbishment in years to come. By reducing circulation and waiting areas, relocating admin functions, and opening up the first floor mezzanine, Lyndon Goode were able to achieve an additional 50% of usable area. All designed with the YMCA's fundamental principle in mind, that “... everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of physical exercise ... improved health [leads] to better education and life chances”.
The Young Men’s Christian Association - the YMCA - is the largest and oldest youth charity in the world. Founded by George Williams in 1844, each YMCA is an independent organisation that provides services tailored to the needs of the local community.
Drawn to the city by the industrial revolution, Williams was concerned about the lack of healthy activities for young men in major cities. In 1855, the ‘Paris Basis’ was a common mission adopted by worldwide YMCA organisations which formed the core principles that still drives the charity’s work today.
Alongside the YMCA’s renowned work providing affordable, supported housing for young vulnerable people, the organisation also addresses the needs of the local communities. Central to this is the promotion of health and well-being. YMCA fitness centres operate throughout the country, running as social enterprises, with all profit being reinvested back into the wider work of the charity.
The ambition to provide ‘‘a really great YMCA, a place which will house not just a handful but a hundred young men’’, began in the early Nineteenth Century. The Art Deco building, completed in 1929, was the culmination of years of fund-raising and planning.
Little remains of this original structure: the centre was on the edge of a high explosive impact during World War II and suffered considerable damage. A red brick extension was opened in 1959, with a restaurant and greater number of hostel rooms. Constant in all this has been the provision of health facilities, ranging from gymnastic club to cricket nets erected on the roof.
The YMCA's Board recognised need for a comprehensive reconfiguration of the existing North London building, including repairs to the facade and improvement of facilities within. Working with the YMCA from the project's offset, Lyndon Goode led the design response, from condition survey to costing of design proposals to incorporation of new branding.
For more information on this project.
"We have enjoyed working with the team at Lyndon Goode, and we are pleased to have achieved a project that will mirror our core aspirations while hopefully opening the building to a new and diverse audience."
Chief Executive, YMCA North London
“The YMCA provides an invaluable service in our community, bringing together residents over shared interests and to reach their goals. With the new equipment, great social environment and renovated building, I wish YMCA the best of luck in the future and hope residents enjoy the new facilities.”
MP for Hornsey & Wood Green