Two phase development providing new YMCA accommodation and an eight story mixed-use building
Extensive mixed use development
Developed as part of a phased mixed-use development, this nine-storey new YMCA accommodation provides 198 apartments in a high-rise residential accommodation alongside accompanying offices, community facilities and commercial units.
The homes provided – as well as the nursery, coffee shop, conference facilities, retail units and social enterprise hub – create a fabulous community facility for Milton Keynes and especially its young people.
Chief executive at YMCA Milton Keynes
The facility, built by main contractor Bowmer + Kirkland, will transform the lives of young people, creating necessary housing, much-needed employment opportunities and delivering real social value for those who need it most.
Following the demolition of the existing 1970s buildings, the site has been revitalised by Peveril Securities and development manager Mayforth, resulting in a total GIA for all floors of the new facility of approximately 8,900 m² (95,800ft²).
This 198-apartment scheme will transform the lives of at-risk youth in Milton Keynes and represents a significant upgrade to YMCA MK’s existing facilities. The scheme not only provides affordable homes but has also created conference room facilities, meeting rooms, a nursery, cafe and space for local businesses. Social enterprises on the ground floor level will also offer employment and training opportunities for the local community.
The campus had a tight delivery timescale to adhere to. A highly coordinated Building Information Model (BIM) of the entire scheme supported this effort at the design stage and a hybrid modern method of construction (MMC) ensured an efficient construction programme.
In terms of MMC, the lower section of the building has used a steel frame, with the top levels utilising panellised lightweight steel framing (LSF) – used to support walls and flooring.
However, the utilisation of LSF also presented challenges. As the build began, building regulations relating to LSF were updated, so changes had to be made. As a result, we worked closely with the main contractor and specialist sub-contractors to assess and co-ordinate the necessary changes. These were managed successfully, and the upgrades were carried out without impacting the rest of the scheme. We captured the YMCA’s specific requirements for our design and developed a brief and concepts to deliver multi-end user access arrangements, required levels of security, and future flexibility of spaces.
Consultation with YMCA staff was a central part of our approach, and our design underwent several iterations to accommodate specific day to day running patterns.
The design had to accommodate a 24/7 staff presence on site for the YMCA while also offering versatile spaces. These spaces would facilitate the YMCA's phased strategy of supporting tenants with training and educational activities throughout their stay.
The flagship scheme provides crucial housing, support and services to local young people, as well as creating much-needed meeting rooms and training spaces for social enterprises. The new building was delivered on the site of the existing YMCA, with part of this demolished to make way for the new build. Phase two, to which we are also appointed, involves the decant of residents in the remaining old building into the new, followed by demolition of this.