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Foster Wilson Architects

Foster Wilson Architects

London, United Kingdom

Foster Wilson Architects - Yaa Centre

Foster Wilson Architects

Performing arts facility that provides workshops and a new multi-purpose space for carnival artists and local communities.



Ground floor cafe

Ground floor cafe 

Yaa Centre exterior

Yaa Centre exterior 



The Yaa Centre is a new Carnival Arts and Community Centre for Carnival Village and provides a new home for Yaa Asantewaa, the Association of British Calypsonians and Ebony Steel Band. Its facilities include workshops for making costumes and floatsfor carnival and the tuning of steel pans, a dedicated steel pan rehearsal room, together with offices, arts and IT education rooms, a café and an informal central performance space for carnival artists and the local community.

The building is located in an enclosed courtyard, surrounded by other properties on three sides, and makes maximum use of rooflights to introduce natural light to the interior. It combines an original 19th century mews building with new construction. The proximity of the nearby housing required that the building was designed with a high level of acoustic separation to avoid disturbance to residents.

The project received a commendation in the Civic Trust Awards 2013 and was shortlisted for RIBA and RICS awards in 2012 and 2013. The Architect’s Journal said about the project: “ ...the detailed design is impeccable. It has also provided a unique artistic, almost residential identity, closer to one of the Architectural Review’s Emerging Architecture projects than to Notting Hill vernacular, founded on a tectonic that manages to be tough without feeling utilitarian.”