BAM Construction is to construct an iconic building, to include community, youth and health facilities, in the Somerstown area of Portsmouth. The contractor has started work on the landmark tubular structure, which spans a main road, for Portsmouth City Council. The two-storey hub will include a community centre, a youth centre, a primary care trust and dental surgery and a local housing office. Its innovative design will allow it to act as a pedestrian route, giving those living on both sides of the road equal access to the facilities. It will also allow as much green space as possible to be preserved. The community centre boasts a number of function rooms, a sports hall and a curved fully glazed double height community lounge at its centre. The local housing office is arranged in double height open plan format with a mezzanine floor gallery. Existing mature trees were retained to create external piazza spaces at either end of the building.
Extensive liaison has been carried out with community groups, building occupiers and local neighbours.
Another BAM business, BAM Design, is the architect and service engineer for the project, which is targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating. BAM construction director Bob Sanders said: “We are very pleased to be bringing these innovative designs to life as a state-of-the-art facility for the local community. “We look forward to using our capabilities to deliver this challenging project in a way that minimises disruption for neighbours.” Kevin Hudson, project manager for Portsmouth City Council, said: “We are delighted to be working with BAM on this project. “These community facilities, at the heart of Portsmouth, will make a real difference to the lives of local people. “It was important to residents that the design should be iconic and that the facilities that the community needs should be brought together into a building that made the best possible use of space, which is at a premium in Somerstown.” Construction has now started on site and this first phase of the Council's regeneration scheme is due for completion in March 2014.