Kingsmere Community Centre

The new community centre forms the central hub for the Kingsmere Development, with over 1,000 new homes, a school, education campus, commercial facilities and healthcare.

Kingsmere Community Centre

Hunters liaised closely with local resident’s associations, the local authority, private service providers and the local planning authority to crystallize their aspirations for the multi-use community centre for a new local/youth centre, pre-school nursery, retail and commercial units linked together to form a focus for the surrounding, new build, residential areas.

The main design feature is a distinctive landmark elements in the form of a community/youth centre that incorporates an over-sailing roof, supported on an arcade of 8m high, slender column partially wrapping around the building to direct visitors into the shared entrance lobby.

The lobby feature solved the main design challenge presented by the end users of providing a solution that had the appearance of a single building while housing two separate functions with their own distinct entrances. The lobby also double as a partially covered display space.

The central axis of the overall development is aligned with the adjacent street pattern to provide a vista that is emphasised by the gable roof over the entrance lobby of a two-storey nursery building that houses five classrooms and associated external play spaces, one of which is located on the roof.

The remainder of the Community Centre is comprised of ground floor retail outlets, including a larger anchor store, with office or commercial spaces over. The largest of the commercial spaces is capable of being occupied by an 800m2 fitness centre with its own entrance. The first-floor offices over-sail the ground floor retail spaces to provide a covered arcade element to the shop fronts.

The whole development defines a new public square with associated car and cycle parking, with the service area and community recycling point provided to the rear.

“Kingsmere is now a well-established development in Bicester and has a strong community feel. I am keen to see this replicated across other local developments, particularly given the pace of the house building across North Oxfordshire. Space for local groups and events is really important, not least in the way it encourages people to come together and meet one another.”

Victoria Prentis MP for North Oxfordshire

Client Countryside Properties

Location Bicester, Oxfordshire

Our Role Architects