Our community building

The community building design


The requirements for a community building on the site have been extensively explored through multiple community consultations. A need has been identified for a community building that is accessible and open all the time. It should be a domestic scale and easy to heat, to complement the large halls that already exist in the village. Workshop space, a library of things, laundry and overflow bedrooms were also seen as valuable additions to the community.


We carried out a consultation with the village about the communal building and the most popular need was for a community run café that would be open during the day on most days of the week. Large glass doors that can be opened will allow a natural extension to the café in good weather.



The main multi-use space has been conceived to allow for many uses from small dance classes to a regular community run café with crèche and 40-seat party space. Catering space will be provided to facilitate the flexibility of the building. 


  • The guest bedrooms would be for the residents of the 12 flats. Rather than living in a larger home with bedrooms empty for most of the year, this will enable residents to live in a smaller flat and have friends and family stay in the overflow bedrooms. 

  • The shared greenhouse and growing beds will allow the residents and other Hook Norton villagers access to a protected growing space to reduce reliance on shop-bought food. 

  • The workshop space will be available to Hook Norton residents to rent out for DIY/ art/making projects on a non-commercial basis. 

  • The library of things will replicate successful similar ventures around the country that loan tools, garden equipment - in fact, anything that the community decides, resulting in fewer underused items being bought. 

Flexible space


Proposed Plans for Community Building

The community building is sited on the south east boundary of the scheme. Less than 3m high, the rear wall has been designed with a dropped section in the middle, which has a tree planted behind. In addition, the building’s pitched roof is offset 3m from the boundary by a flat sedum roof, all to reduce any sense of enclosure and massing. 


The residents of the properties that the community building sits adjacent to have been consulted by HNCLT and were amenable and comfortable with the proposal. 


The building itself is 4.5m wide with the principle spaces running along the front edge of the building, engaging with the public realm. This design ensures minimal overbearing on the adjacent gardens while giving privacy and separation to these houses. 


It also creates a strong iconic form that contains the southern boundary. Large windows provide connection and surveillance of the shared spaces while planting and landscape provide privacy for the overflow bedrooms. 

The superstructure of the community building will be similar to that of the North and South Terraces being timber-framed but will only comprise of a single storey structure. 


The café and workshop will be open to the roof with exposed softwood trusses and purlins on a softwood post and beam structure. 


The front facing wall will be timber clad and the rear wall will be clad in local natural stone.

Structural summary

Further reading


Proposed South and North Elevations for Community Building