Oxford House, Bethnal Green

London, 2019

Oxford House is a Community and Arts Centre in Bethnal Green which originally housed student volunteers from Keble College Oxford, and was the first University Settlement’ to open. The settlement in Bethnal Green served to provide the poverty-stricken local community with moral guidance through activities and clubs in the house and local area.

This grade II listed building was designed by Arthur Blomfield and built in 1891 in a domestic 16/​17th century Tudor revival style with attractive lead light windows, dormers and tiled hipped roofs.

The Heritage Lottery Funded project involved a series of carefully designed inter­ven­tions to the building to provide greater access­ib­ility to and around the building, and to repair and conserve the historic fabric and remove it from Historic England’s buildings At Risk’ register.

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photo credit: Karl Lyndsky

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The ground floor provides a new Welcome Space, large kitchen and café which links directly to the adjacent pocket park and Weaver’s Fields and serves as a key community focus.

On the third floor, the striking, secret’, timber panelled Chapel has been sensitively restored, and a Settlement Room’ created as a support space for the public functions and private events held in the Chapel.

An area of flat roof, histor­ically a roof terrace has been redesigned and provides unique views over London.

Client: Oxford House

Filed to: Public & Community

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photo credit: Karl Lyndsky

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photo credit: Karl Lyndsky