LOM designs a Taylor-made community centre

LOM architecture and design is proud to have helped Watford FC Community Sports & Education Trust transform Meriden Community Centre, which was officially re-opened by former England football manager Graham Taylor OBE, Mayor of Watford Baroness Dorothy Thornhill MBE; and Watford FC’s Troy Deeney, Heurelho Gomes and Jerome Sinclair on 4 November 2016.

After refurbishment the centre in Garsmouth Way, Watford, has brand new facilities including a multi-purpose hall, gym, meeting rooms, cafe and a 3G artificial all-weather grass pitch. The Centre will serve the entire community and is also equipped for table tennis, yoga, martial arts, dance and IT lessons. Funding was made possible thanks to Sport England, Watford Borough Council, Football Foundation, Watford Community Housing Trust, Watford FC and Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust.

Speaking about the Centre, local Olympic gold medallist and heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua MBE, who grew up on the Meriden Estate said: “The Meriden Centre…was a go to spot and if you guys are going to revamp it – it will bring life back to the area.”

Graham Taylor OBE former England and Watford FC manager said: “I am personally delighted to open Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust’s new fantastic 3G pitch at the Meriden Centre. My role as Football Foundation Ambassador allows me to see the massive difference that these types of grassroots facilities make. They enable more and more people of all ages and abilities to enjoy playing football and many other sports purely for the love of it.”

Architect’s view

“The existing building was in a tired condition and we worked hard to give maximum effect for the limited budget. We did this through bold use of colours and graphics overlaid on simple finishes and exposed services. It was important to the Trust that exterior should be revamped to symbolise a new phase in the life of the Centre. Slatted timber cladding was chosen to wrap around the façade to give a striking appearance and to protect glazed elements that would otherwise be vulnerable to vandalism. The­­­­ interior was remodelled to create versatile and adaptable spaces that can support a range of different activities. LOM is now helping the Trust to find additional funding to upgrade the play area in front of the Centre.”

Before and after

After photos courtesy of T&B Contractors.

Project data

Client | Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust
Architect | LOM architecture and design
Contractor | T&B Contractors
Structural engineer | KMG Partnership
Services | PinnacleESP
Cost Consultant | Jackson Coles
Size | 900sqm
Start date | April 2016
End date | October 2016


Anthony Joshua MBE talks about the Meriden Centre

As featured on BBC Match of the Day 19 November 2016


Meriden Community Centre Re-Opening


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