The expansive brief, developed in dialogue with all stakeholders is in contrast to the site; a narrow plot tightly constrained by adjoining residential properties within the Ealing Green Conservation area. As a consequence building elevations respond to specific features of the local context. Masses are broken up and shaped in accordance with ‘rights of light’ considerations whilst the façade takes it proportions from those of the surrounding domestic architecture.
Nevertheless the unique nature and function of “Westside” requires that something of the dynamic nature of the activities that take place within it is expressed in the appearance of the building. Key elements of the composition – drawn from local precedent – are accentuated by the use of a copper alloy; creating a “beacon” that can be seen glowing from distance, tying the masses together and emphasising the entrance. This special material, which will continue to harmonise with the stock brickwork throughout its life, is a fitting complement to the unique role that “Westside” plays in the lives of the young people who use it.