What are you looking for?

cultural projects

cultural buildings at the heart of community and placemaking

Strong communities are built on their heritage, traditions and industries. As new ways of living and working evolve in response to rapid social or technological changes, our connections to shared cultural identity can come under pressure. But new development can be a catalyst for renewed connection to place, giving us the opportunity to create and nurture new relationships with our surroundings.

shedkm believe in the power of culture to create stronger and more cohesive communities. Culture provides people with ways to explore, celebrate and create shared experiences, bringing depth and meaning to their experience of a place. The combined assets of heritage, people, buildings and landscape can create a renewed sense of belonging. Whether working on stand-alone new builds or the refurbishment of historic or beloved sites, our approach to cultural buildings has always been to put them at the heart of community and placemaking.

Cultural activity is an enriching experience in itself but also adds social and economic value, creating the right conditions for innovation, regeneration and the development of local skills and talent. We start by identifying what is unique or of special value to a location, and look at what can be nurtured by design, with buildings and spaces that support and strengthen community through rich, varied and inclusive programming.

a cultural heart that celebrates performance and community

Within our award-winning new development at Brighton’s Circus Street, sits a new home for South East Dance. Designed in close collaboration with this leading dance company, the building provides a cultural heart and signals the commitment of the development to people and community. Combined with adjacent café and retail spaces at ground floor, the building will contribute to a vibrant neighbourhood, lively with activity by day and night.

This highly functional building includes a main studio space, bleacher seating, research and community studio, and an office. The main dance studio and community space are connected by a large expanse of opening glazing, and connect in turn to a new public space providing opportunities for outdoor performance. The feature escape stair, designed as a dynamic, sculptural element that corkscrews down the height of the building to land in Circus Square, references the movement of dance, and has quickly become emblematic of the playful overall identity of Circus Street.

A bold, cube-like geometry is clad in distinctive galvanised steel panels which will weather over time in Brighton’s seaside atmosphere to create a dynamic changing façade. The building culminates in an attractive green roof, enhancing biodiversity. Rooftop photovoltaics contribute to the buildings green credentials.

a cultural project at the heart of high street renewal

As churches look to maintain their role at the heart of community whilst embracing and engaging with an increasingly diverse audience, shedkm worked closely with the church steering group to create a new building with a strong cultural identity. Lighthouse Church in Merseyside combines a contemporary church building with a large space designed to accommodate a wide range of events including concerts, exhibitions, playgroups, youth activities, classes, counselling, advice and community support services.

Our design ‘de-cellularises’ conventional arrangements of rooms to provide a more flexible arrangement of seamlessly flowing spaces. Embracing the concept of welcome and hospitality, the church is designed to sit within the existing streetscape and invite people inside. Deliberately modern in style, the pitched volume is inspired by the existing ecclesiastical form. The worship space is at the heart of the building, accessed via a welcoming reception visible behind the main glazed elevation.

an historic waterfront used to incorporate new cultural narratives and programmes

shedkm were successfully shortlisted for this international competition by National Museums Liverpool, to transform the historic, industrial waterfront landscape into a stunning leisure and cultural destination, with a powerful heritage narrative. As a port city Liverpool is home to diverse established communities that have been built upon for generations to create a vibrant, edgy, international city.

Our observations living and working in the city gave us a unique understanding of its mechanisms, movements and patterns, how the city works and what it could be. We put together a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team, CAN DO, to develop an inclusive narrative to inform future development proposals for Canning Dock, and which would speak to its heritage and inhabitants.

Our mission was to honour communities and welcome tourists, acknowledge the past and embrace the future in one holistic transparent, layered and textured piece, brought to life by the varied communities of Liverpool. Through a nuanced program of engagement, we wanted to make sure that a broad range of voices were heard, whilst keeping our focus on equitable representation.

In a participatory installation on the waterfront, we talked with local people about their ambitions for the area, in a process which embodied our approach to both the city and creation of successful place. Using a loom, we explored weaving as both a physical manifestation of the textile industry but also a metaphor for cultural identity, stretching across geographies and history, embodying personal and collective narratives.

a beloved local market becomes a catalyst for new social and economic opportunity

Positioned by the promenade, the Queen’s Market has been the social heart of Rhyl since 1902, providing a venue for community uses as diverse as skating, theatre, and retail. This redevelopment reinvents the Queen’s Market as a 21st century social hub combining multi-use function spaces with a food and market hall to create a lively new destination for the town. By providing a variety of programmatic uses to the West Parade, the new proposals will better connect the town with its seafront, to create a vibrant neighbourhood of restaurants, bars and cafés, combined with a public library, outdoor courtyards and residential units which overlook the waterfront.

Our design acknowledges the historical significance and central role this building has played in the town’s cultural life and sense of place, and will act as a catalyst for wider regeneration, offering new economic opportunity for local businesses. A variety of internal and external spaces, including a large events space, are created to provide a rich mix of uses for community and tourists alike, and will combine with enhanced pedestrian access and walkways, and a new landscaped public square.

Although much of the existing market will need to be demolished owing to its poor condition, our designs will recreate the atmospheric qualities of the old market hall, integrating seamlessly into the Conservation area, whilst providing a contemporary and sustainable structure for the new market.

urban renewal anchored by civic heritage

Yards and Ginnels. Great words that colloquially describe the parts of a city that knit its main events and buildings together; the parts where life unfolds and communities are formed and sustained.

Wakefield’s Civic Quarter masterplan offers unique regeneration opportunities to tie the area into wider city centre aspirations to achieve a strong commercial and community impact. Our proposal for Wakefield takes as its starting point the rich tapestry of existing building stock comprising the existing civic quarter and which includes the prestigious Victorian Town Hall and neo-Greek Crown Court. Our proposals focus on the regeneration of the existing architecture, whilst playing on notions of traditional Yorkshire places, reintroducing passageways, through-roads and pedestrian friendly spaces. We will activate back streets and courtyards to create a new socially sustainable urban neighbourhood and reintroduce creative, social and residential spaces to reinvigorate the city.