The JW3 is a new award-winning community centre to serve the Jewish population in London. The scheme includes a café, auditorium and screening room, classrooms and exercise rooms as well as a nursery and offices for the organisation itself. All these facilities are accommodated in a flexible three storey pavilion set away from the busy Finchley Road that runs along the east of the site to create an intimate, sheltered outdoor space that allows the building and its occupants literally to breathe.
JW3 aims to bring together the organisation’s many and diverse activities into a single building – a meeting point for Jews and non-Jews alike. The building is culture-driven. The complex brief was established from a schedule of user-requirements and a vast programme of long and short-term events.
To accommodate the wide-ranging activities the building has been designed as a pavilion with a high degree of flexibility. A room that may host a dance class for 40 in the morning may need to be used for an intimate book group of just ten people later that day. The JCC is designed to be a place of action – of creation and output, rather than consumption of culture – and robust, quality materials have been chosen to support the various activities, from a crèche for 75 children to cinema, demonstration kitchen and dance studios. A multi-purpose hall with retractable bleacher seating and semi-sprung floor will provide event space for 300 guests at seated events, and a theatre and auditorium which supports performance types such as dance, spoken word and theatre.